How many of you know the actual facts about Zika virus?
Given below is the basic information you need to know about this infection.
Origin of the virus
Zika virus was first seen in the Zika forest in Uganda. It was isolated from a Rhesus monkey in 1947.
The virus did not make its appearance for years and then made a dramatic outbreak in 2007 in Yap. This is an island group located in Western Pacific. The disease spread to Brazil and other South American regions at lightning speed. The cause is a mosquito bite from the mosquito family Aedes. Though this mosquito cannot fly long distances, the infection spreads rapidly when infected people travel across the world.
Most of the symptoms are those of Dengue fever. They include
· skin rashes,
· muscle pain
· joint pain,
Methods of transmission
· Direct mosquito bites
· Sexual transmission
· Blood transfusion
· Exchange of body fluids
Effects of Zika
Pregnant women are at a high risk if they contrive the infection. The fetus is very likely to develop microcephaly. This is a condition wherein the baby comes out with a comparatively smaller head. There are chances for brain damage and neurological disorders. Some infants develop eye defects and immature growth.
As of now, there isn’t any vaccine to control the infection. The best method is to control the mosquito population. Adopt all possible methods to prevent mosquitoes from increasing in number. Take measures to avoid mosquito bites. To restrict your travel especially Zika infected areas. If you do go, visit your medical practitioner upon return and take his advice. It is advisable to refrain from sexual activities for at least 6 months if any chance of infection is seen as this is most harmful to pregnant women and the babies in the womb.
Zika virus, first isolated in Uganda in the year 1947 is spread by mosquitoes. Previously, Zika outbreaks were recorded in Asia, Africa, the Pacific regions and in America which led to the declaration of a global medical emergency by the World Health Organization. High fever, rashes, joint pain and conjunctivitis are the most common symptoms associated with the Zika virus infection. As per the reports from the Centers for Disease Control, the symptoms last only for two to seven days and are typically mild. However, Zika virus can result in a congenital condition called microcephaly in infants which can result in death.
With the spread of Zika virus, an increasing number of concerns have mounted over the conduct of Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. However, the director of Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Tom Friedan brought out that Zika virus does not pose a severe threat to the 80 percent of the population except for infants and children less than 5 years of age. Adults who acquire the Zika infection experience only mild to moderate symptoms. Pregnant women should avoid traveling to countries where Zika virus transmission is high. Tom Friedan also added that there are no vaccines or medicines to treat the Zika virus.
Meanwhile, authorities of the International Olympic Committee ensured the availability of a safe environment for the successful conduct of Olympic 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. They have also made explicit announcements stating that the Olympics will not be relocated, postponed or canceled owing to the Zika virus threat. Brazilian officials also insist on the fact that athletes or fans do not fall into the risk category except for pregnant women. The communications director for Brazil’s Olympic Committee, Mario Andrada stated that Olympic games are scheduled in the month of August during the Brazilian winter which does not favor the survival of mosquitoes.
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