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Zika Virus Symptoms, Treatment and Causes

Zika Virus Symptoms, Treatment and Causes

Zika Virus Disease: Zika is a disease transmitted chiefly by the bite of an infected mosquito called Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus which can also occur through intrauterine infection. Zika virus is a single-stranded RNA virus. The virus has been shown to be present in fetal tissues. Pieces of evidence of Zika virus have been detected in:

β€’ Amniotic fluid

β€’ Placenta

β€’ Fetal brain tissue

β€’ Products of conception.

The epidemic was firstly identified in the year 1947 in Uganda by a Rhesus monkey. This disease is named after the Zika forest in Uganda. In the year 1954, the first human case of Zika Virus was found in Nigeria. Zika Virus is not like Coronavirus but the genus includes not less than 70 viruses consisting of important pathogens such as Dengue, Yellow Fever, Japanese encephalitis and West Nile Virus. A mosquito bite is the primary mode of Zika Virus transmission. The outbreak of the Zika Virus has been recorded in Africa, America, Asia and lastly in the Pacific. All Flaviviruses include in their cycle a vertebrate host and insect vectors and many Flaviviruses are Clinically important as they elicit Central nervous system diseases in infected individuals.

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In fact, the 1960s -1980s saw rare sporadic cases of human infections across Africa and Asia typically accompanied by mild illness.

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Firstly it was in the year 2007 that the Zika Virus was reported from the island of Yap (Federated status of Micronesia.) After this, a huge outbreak was found in French Polynesia in 2013. Day by day it started affecting other countries and territories in the Pacific. In March 2015 Brazil marked a large outbreak of rash illness which was then identified as Zika Virus infection, and in July 2015, found to be associated with Guillain Barre Syndrome.

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In October 2015, Brazil reported an association between Zika Virus infection and micro
cephalic. Outbreak and evidence of transmission soon appeared throughout America, Africa and other regions of the world. To date, a total of 89 countries and territories have reported pieces of evidence of mosquito-transmitted Zika infection. Zika Virus affected a number of states in the year 2021. For example Kerala. The first case in Kerala Parassala Thiruvananthapuram was a 24-year-old woman who was a pregnant lady and delivered her baby on 07 June 2021. This was the first time when Zika Virus was found in Kerala.


β€œWhen a rectospecpro screening was done in May – October 2021. Out of 1475 samples, 67 tested positive about 14 per cent were hospitalized while the rest were discharged on the same day.


In 2021 studies of the national institute of Virology in Pune and ICMR have been concerned about the local transmission of Zika Virus across 8 states and UTs where it has never been reported before. Zika Virus in India has spread to Aligarh, Kanpur, Delhi, Ameristar, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Hyderabad, Ranchi and Thiruvananthapuram.

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Zika Virus has been identified in several body fluids of infected individuals. In most cases, it remained detached in blood from a few days to one week after the onset of symptoms and can persist longer in Urine and Semen. Zika Virus can have dramatic consequences such as microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome.

β€œIt is important to do prenatal screening of Zika”.

β€œSince it is a congenital disease and can cause microcephaly in babies”. ( A disease where babies’ brain is not completely developed.)

Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. This infection during pregnancy can cause birth defects.Β 

Signs And Symptoms :

The incubation period of Zika Virus disease is estimated to be 03-14 days like Corona Virus. The majority of the people infected with the Zika virus do not develop symptoms. The symptoms of detecting Zika Virus are mild. If Zika symptoms happen they are usually very mild. The symptoms are :

β€’ Fever

β€’ Rash

β€’ Joint Pain especially in Hands and Feet

β€’ Muscle pain

β€’ Red eyes

β€’ Headache

β€’ Conjunctivitis

People who get the virus do not get sick. One in five people does get symptoms. β€œAccording to the centres for disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deaths are not common in zika virus”. Process of Zika Virus: As already said that zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through a mosquito bite. These are the same mosquitoes that separate dengue and Chikungunya etc. These mosquitoes lay eggs in buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots etc. These mosquitoes prefer to bite people and, these mosquitoes live indoors and outdoors near people. These mosquitoes bite paper day and night. A mosquito gets infected with the virus when it bites an infected person during the period of time when the virus can be found in a person’s blood typically only through the first week of infection.

β€œInfected mosquitoes then can spread the virus the other people through bites and do the virus is separated. Deaths are not common in Zika Virus”.

Sexual transmission of Zika:Β 

It is the first Flavi virus known to be sexually transmittable. Zika virus can pass through sexual intercourse from one partner who has Zika virus to his/her partner. Zika virus can pass through vaginal, anal and oral sex. Zika virus is a sexually transmitted disease, that was first suggested by Foy Et Al in 2008.

Complications of Zika: Zika can result in a number of complications during pregnancy. E.g. It can cause Microcephaly and other Congenital abnormalities in the developing fetus and newborn.

β€œZika virus can also cause pregnancy complications such as fetal loss, stillbirth and preterm birth”.


Zika virus is also a trigger of Guillain Barre Syndrome, Neuropathy in adults and older children. Scientists and Scholars are still doing research in order to investigate the effect of zika virus infection on pregnancy outcomes, strategies for prevention and control and effects of infection on other neurological disorders in children and adults.

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The virus was declared a public threat emergency of international concern in 2016 by World Health Organisation( who) and since then has involved several countries across the years. How Zika is diagnosed: A diagnosis of zika virus infection can only be confirmed by laboratory tests of blood or other body fluids zika virus is diagnosed by using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and virus isolation from blood samples.

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If the Zika virus is diagnosed by serology it can be difficult as the virus can cross-react with other Flavivirus such as Dengue, West Nile and Yellow fever ( WHO ).
Anyone who lives in or travels to an area with the risk of Zika Virus and has not been already infected with Zika virus can get it from mosquito bites. Prevention ( As Sexual Transmitted Disease ) from Zika Virus: The first and the best way to prevent Zika is to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

β€’ Every person including pregnant ones and breastfeeding women should take steps to prevent mosquito bites.

β€’ EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women
Treatment Available: There is no treatment available for Zika Virus infection or its associated diseases. Precautionary measures can be taken as treatment is not available for the Zika Virus which are mentioned as under :

β€’ Not having sex can eliminate the risk of getting Zika from sex.

β€’ Use of Condoms can reduce the chance of getting Zika from sex.

β€’ Condoms include male and female condoms.

β€’ To be effective, condoms should be used from start to finish, every time during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

β€’ Dental dams (Latex or Polyurethane sheets ) may be used for a certain types of oral sex.
β€’ Refrain from travelling to the area which has been infected by the Zika Virus.

β€’ Pregnant ladies and newborn babies should be kept under the nets during sleeping time.

β€’ Always use insect repellents such as Hit, Morten etc. inside homes.

β€’ Key Points to remember :

β€’ There are no specific medications available on the market for Zika Virus.

β€’ In order to avoid and be prevented from Zika Virus get plenty of rest.

β€’ Drink water to prevent getting Dehydrated.

β€’ Take medicines for fever.

β€’ Take medicines for pain.

β€’ Do not take aspirin and other non-steroids, or anti-inflammatory drugs.

β€’ Go for regular checkups.

β€’ If you are taking medicine for another medical condition consult your health care provider before taking additional medications.

β€’ Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

Not to do:

β€’ Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than two months old.

β€’ Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para methane diol on children younger than three years old.

β€’ Sleep under the mosquito bed net if air or screened rooms are not available or if you are sleeping outdoors.

β€’ To help prevent others from getting sick, strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the first week of illness.

WHO Response :

WHO is supporting countries to control Zika Virus Disease by taking actions outlined in the Zika strategic response framework :

β€’ Strengthening the capacity of laboratories to test for Zika Virus infection worldwide.

β€’ Advancing research in prevention, surveillance and control of Zika Virus infection and associated complications.

β€’ Developing, Strengthening and implementing integrated surveillance systems for Zika Virus infection and associated complications.

β€’ Strengthening care and support of affected children and families affected by complications of Zika infection.