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All to Know about Zika Virus

Zika is the new entrant in the Indian sub continued, when it comes to the list mosquito borne diseases that are dominant in India. As a matter of fact, the country was recently put on high alert for a Zika break out in the country.  With no known vaccine available as of date, protection from mosquito bites becomes even more crucial with every new mosquito borne disease that is being discovered. Here are some facts about zika that one should know to be able to recognize and treat it in time to keep the trauma of the incident at bay.

> It is caused by the flaviviridae virus family of the flavivirus genus like dengue.

> Again carrying a similarity with dengue fever, Zika is also spread by the Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus genus of mosquitoes that bite during the day rather than at night.

> Some consider Zika to be like a milder version of dengue fever.

> Zika Virus usually spreads through mosquito bites and can be transmitted sexually from one person to another. Additionally, Zika can also be vertically passed from mother to child during pregnancy.

> There are no reported deaths due to infection by the Zika virus.

> The symptoms of Zika are usually very mild and do not require hospitalization.

> The symptoms usually include fevers, joint pains, red eyes, skin rashes etc. which subside in a matter of 7-10 days.

> Paracetamol may be administered to patients to bring down fevers and help deal with the symptoms and body pain.

> No vaccination is available to treat pika virus infection.

> Treatment for Zika is again symptomatic like its counterpart dengue. Medications are provided to treat the symptoms rather than to fight the infection.

> Some studies and reports suggest that children born to Zika infected mothers may have both defects like microcephaly etc.

> Zika virus can spread through blood transfusions too and thus the CDC in the USA has recommended thorough screening of donors.

> The virus was first isolated in 1947 and the first human infection was detected in 1952.

> India was put on high alert last year for a possible Zika outbreak.

> Travel warnings have been issued for people travelling to countries infected by the virus while pregnant women have been asked to consider delaying the travel plans.

> It is believed that the Zika virus is contagious for a week after infection when carried by mosquitoes.

> Given the absence of vaccines, the only protection from Zika is protection for mosquito bites especially when it comes to children.

> Always use adequate mosquito protection in form of sprays, creams, gels, lotions, nets, bands, patches etc to keep kids safe from mosquito bites.

> One should be vigilant for mosquito bites in kids to diagnose and treat the infection in time.

These are just some facts about the virus that one needs to know to keep the little ones safe from the Zika virus. Knowledge, vigilance and action are important when wanting to keep the little angels safe from such traumatic diseases.


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