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All You Ever Wanted to Know About the Zika Virus

The Zika virus infection has had a greater impact even though it does not occur in most of the counties of the western world that have cooler climates because of widespread international travel. Since the symptoms are not often very visible but the impact quite deadly, it vital for people traveling to the Zika risk zones or cohabiting with partners who reside or have traveled in those areas to be extremely careful so that they do not get infected.

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The Zika virus is a viral infection borne by mosquitoes that primarily occurs in the tropics and sub-tropical areas. The Zika virus may not produce any symptoms at all in many people while others may display signs of mild fever, headache, conjunctivitis, and general bodily discomfort. Zika infection in pregnant women may result in miscarriages or microcephaly that is a brain condition that is potentially fatal. Neurological disorders like Guillain-Barre syndrome is also a potential outcome of the infection. Currently, there is no cure for the Zika virus infection

Causes

The Zika virus spreads through the bite of an infected mosquito of the Aedes species. While these mosquitoes are found worldwide, the disease got its name because it was first identified in 1947 in Uganda’s Zika Forest. Outbreaks have thereafter occurred in southern and southeastern Asia, the Americas, and the Pacific Islands. According to https://www.medicalnewstoday.com, a major outbreak in 2016 that occurred in Brazil raised awareness globally, however, even today, many doctors in western countries have no answer to the question, what does the Zika virus look like? The mosquito gets infected by biting an infected person and then transmits it by biting other people. The virus is also known to spread from mother to child during pregnancy. Blood transfusion and sexual contact are also proven reasons for the spread of the virus.

Complications

Apart from the risk of miscarriage and microcephaly, the Zika virus is also known to cause brain damage and reduction of brain tissue, damage to the eyes, problems in the joints, including limited movement as well as reduced body movement after birth due to enhanced muscle tone. The occurrence of neurological disorders such as Guillain-Barre syndrome is also not uncommon.

Prevention

The most effective way to limit the chances of infection, especially by pregnant women, is to not travel to areas where an outbreak has occurred. Sexual relations with partners who have been exposed to the chances of infection should be discontinued or condoms used, especially during pregnancy. If you need to travel to an infected area, it may be wise to defer any planned pregnancy for a few months to reduce the chances of infection. People traveling in or staying in tropical areas known to be infected with the Zika virus are advised to stay in houses that are well screened or air-conditioned. The use of a mosquito net is recommended as well as wearing clothes that prevent any exposure of the skin like long-sleeved shirts, trousers, socks, and shoes. Using mosquito repellants containing permethrin or a 10% concentration of DEET can be effective even for pregnant or nursing women. Making it difficult for mosquitoes to breed such as preventing the accumulation of standing water is advisable.  Never have a blood transfusion without a proper Zika virus screening. Do not donate blood for at least four weeks if there is any chance of your being infected

Conclusion

The Zika virus infection has had a greater impact even though it does not occur in most of the counties of the western world that have cooler climates because of widespread international travel. Since the symptoms are not often very visible but the impact quite deadly, it vital for people traveling to the Zika risk zones or cohabiting with partners who reside or have traveled in those areas to be extremely careful so that they do not get infected.

Author bio –

Kristen Smith is a health expert who has been running many health seminars and public discussions. She also manages her blog and reviews the health-related details provided by authentic sources. You can visit what does the Zika virus look like for more information.