Zika Virus Outbreak-Everything You Must Know

We daily hear the news about Zika virus. Health officials in many countries are trying hard and not leaving any stone unturned to stop the spread of Zika virus. 

Image via ticotimes.net
Image via ticotimes.net

So, the pertinent question is what the Zika is and why its outbreak is so dangerous. Let’s find out.

What exactly is Zika? 
Zika is a disease which spreads through a virus named Zika virus. People become infected with Zika after being bitten by a certain mosquito mainly Aedes species.

Aedes aegypti mosquito Image via dailymail.co.uk
Aedes aegypti mosquito Image via dailymail.co.uk

So, the Zika virus is a flavivirus and it is the part of the same family as yellow fever,  chikungunya and dengue.

What is the existence of Zika virus?
Of course, this virus is not new.  It was first discovered in Uganda in 1947. The virus has initially only been reported in Africa and South Asia, but now it’s also being reported in Central and South America. Zika Virus

Currently it has been spared in over 24 countries.

Symptoms of Zika

The Common symptoms of the Zika virus is fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. About 80% of people who got infected with this virus don’t show any symptoms at all. Severe complications from the virus that need hospitalization are rare. Zika Virus1

For most people, the Zika virus causes only a brief and they get cured over within a week.

Why Zika virus is so dangerous?

Zika is very dangerous to pregnant women. Its infections are linked with permanent brain damage in fetuses known as Microcephaly, where new born baby has a small head and brain size.

Image via AP Photo/Felipe Dana
Image via AP Photo/Felipe Dana

Since November, Brazil has seen 4,180 cases of microcephaly in babies born to women who were infected with Zika during their pregnancies.

Guillain-Barre syndrome image via hubpages.com
Guillain-Barre syndrome image via hubpages.com

Outbreak of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder that can lead to life-threatening paralysis, is also linked to Zika.

How Zika virus spread?

The virus is spared mainly through the bite of the Aedes aegypti species of mosquito. The virus is transmitted when an Aedes mosquito bites a person with an active infection and then spreads the virus by biting others.Zika Virus2..

There has also been report of the virus spreading through sexual contact. In very rare cases, the Zika can be transferred from mother to child during or shortly after birth.

What are countries doing to stop Zika Virus spared?

Health officials in many countries are instructing female citizens to avoid becoming pregnant. Pregnant women are warned to travel to infected areas.Zika Virus pregnant woman

Brazil government has declared war against Zika virus.  The government has called in the military to assist with a nationwide push to eradicate the virus.

Zika Virus3

Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes would be released in parts of Piracicaba city in Southern Brazil to suppress the wild mosquito population responsible for Zika and Dengue outbreaks.

Zika Virus..2

Health officials in El Salvador have advised all women to delay pregnancy until 2018 to stop birth defects linked to the virus.

Treatment for Zika

Currently there is no medication or vaccine available to treat this virus. The overwhelming majority of people get better on their own. Zika Virus.2.

The only protection against Zika is to avoid travel to areas with an active infestation.