KERALA ON ALERT FOR ZIKA VIRUS
1. Where was Zika virus identified first?
- Zika virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys.
- It was later identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
2. What causes Zika virus?
- Zika virus disease is caused by a virus known as flavivirus
3. What is the vector for Zika virus?
- Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus).
4. How do people get infected with Zika?
- Zika is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus).
- A pregnant woman can pass Zika to her foetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth.
- A person with Zika can pass it to his or her sex partners
- Transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation.
5. What time of day does the Aedes mosquito bite?
- Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day, peaking during early morning and late afternoon/evening.
6. What are the other mosquito borne diseases caused by flavivirus?
- Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, Japanese encephalitis, West Nile viruses,
7. What is the incubation period of Zika virus?
- The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) of Zika virus disease is estimated to be 3–14 days
8. What are the symptoms of Zika?
- Many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms.
- The most common symptoms of Zika are
* Joint pain
* Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
* Muscle pain
9. What are the complications of Zika?
- Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly that is a sign of incomplete brain development.
10. What is the treatment for Zika?
- There is no treatment available for Zika virus infection or its associated diseases.
Treat the symptoms.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Take medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) to reduce fever and pain.
- Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of bleeding.
- If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider bessfore taking additional medication.
11. What can people do to prevent Zika?
- Protection against mosquito bites during the day and early evening is a key measure to prevent Zika virus infection.
- Special attention should be given to prevention of mosquito bites among pregnant women, women of reproductive age, and young children.