With news of Kerala’s first case of Zika Virus making rounds on the internet, people have started to panic. A 24-year-old pregnant woman from Trivandrum was first detected with the virus and is currently undergoing treatment.
What is Zika Virus?
It is a mosquito-borne virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, which usually bites us in the daytime or late afternoon. These kinds of mosquitoes are also known to transmit dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. Back in 1947, it was identified in monkeys in Uganda. Later in 1952, it was found in humans in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. To date, 86 countries have encountered the virus.
How Do You Know If You Have Been Affected?
The common symptoms of Zika Virus are “fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache, and usually last for 2–7 days”. In some cases, there may be no symptoms at all. As per research, the incubation period of Zika Virus affected individuals (once the symptoms show) is 3-14 days.
Also Read: Pandemic Guilt: Here’s How To Cope With It
What Are The Risks of Zika Virus?
The transmission of Zika virus occurs from mother to fetus during pregnancy, through sexual interactions and intercourse, organ transplants and blood transfusion. It can also cause congenital abnormalities in newborn babies and can result in complications during birth. It is a trigger of Guillain-Barré syndrome (a rare neurological disorder where the body’s immune system attacks part of its peripheral nervous system by mistake), neuropathy and myelitis.
Is Zika Virus Treatable?
As of now, there is no treatment to cure the virus. However, there exist treatments that target the symptoms of the virus. Any person who shows symptoms of Zika Virus should immediately seek medical care.
Also Read: Is Coronavirus Killing Our Water Bodies?
What Can You Do To Stay Safe?
- Wear clothes that covers your body as much as possible.
- Use mosquito nets on window screens and doors. You can also sleep under these nets.
- Avoid collection of water from open sources which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Do not keep water in open air for a long period of time.
- Make use of insect repellent on your skin and clothes. Check the ingredients to see if it contains DEET, IR3535 or icaridin.
- Use contraceptive while haveing sexual intercourse to prevent transmission from person to person.