The Zika Virus: Why do you need to know

Did you know that you aren't safe from mosquito-borne disease even in the daytime?

One of the most recent news is that the state of Maharashtra, India, reports the first case of Zika Virus infection in Pune.

You might wonder - Why are we randomly saying these things? Why are these two things linked? Well, we’ll give you the answer!

Zika Virus is a mosquito-borne infectious disease transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes, which are known to bite during the day.

The History of the infectious mosquito-borne disease - Zika Virus

First observed in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys, the Zika virus was later identified in humans in 1952.

From the 1960s to 1980s, human cases of this mosquito-borne disease were found across the continents of Africa and Asia, most often accompanied by mild sickness.

The primary huge outbreak of sickness given rise to by Zika disease was accounted for from the Island of Yap (Federated States of Micronesia) in 2007, as the infection moved from Southeast Asia across the Pacific.

Brazil documented a correlation between Zika virus infection and microcephaly in October 2015. A causal link could not be established for either occurrence.

In February 2016, as infection moved rapidly through the extent occupied by Aedes mosquitoes in the United States of America, WHO declared that Zika virus infection associated with microcephaly and other neurological disorders constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

By February 2016, local transmission of Zika virus infection had been reported from more than 20 countries in America, and an outbreak numbering thousands of cases was underway in Cabo Verde, western Africa.

Past the extent of Zika virus mosquito vectors, Zika virus infections are expected to be transmitted worldwide by international travel. The Zika Virus mosquito has since then, been actively causing sufferings to people across the world.

In the past few months, the infectious disease has gotten its way into India. More and more cases are emerging in Kerala, and the newest case found in Pune, Maharashtra.

With the coronavirus pandemic still raging, the emergence of Zika virus has added to the pressure on the Indian health surveillance system which is already on a high alert.

The Symptoms of Zika Virus

Surprisingly enough, the symptoms of this infectious disease are similar to that of the novel coronavirus. This is why it is more difficult to determine at an early stage, whether a patient has contracted the Zika Virus mosquito.

  1. Fever
  2. Skin rashes
  3. Headache
  4. Red sore eyes
  5. Muscle pain
  6. Joint pain

All of these symptoms are milder than that of the SARS CoV-2. Also, in terms of the incubation period and other effects on the body, the two vary a lot.

The incubation period (the time frame between the moment of exposure to infectious mosquitoes till the first symptom is seen) is supposed to be 3–14 days, but the symptoms might persist for anywhere from 2 to 7 days.

Individuals infected with the Zika virus, however, do not show remarkable symptoms, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Infected persons, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seldom become sick enough to be hospitalised, and they rarely die from Zika.

The mild infections aren't the problem but the complications that it can bring in pregnant women are definitely concerning.

Zika Virus and Pregnancy

The Zika virus can be transferred from a pregnant woman to her unborn child. Microcephaly, a birth condition, and other serious foetal brain disorders can be caused by infection during pregnancy.

When compared to kids of the same sex and age, microcephaly is a birth condition in which a baby's head is smaller than expected. Microcephaly babies' brains are generally smaller and haven't fully developed.

The babies also experienced seizures and audio-visual impairments, such as not answering back to the sound of a rattle and not being able to follow a moving object with their eyes.

Be worry-free by being mosquito-free!

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