Do’s and Don’ts to be protected from Zika virus

Zika virus has been entered in India. Recently WHO has confirmed the first three cases of Zika virus Infection in India from Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Aedes mosquitoes are carriers of Zika virus. These mosquitoes usually breed in stable water collected within buckets, flower pots, etc. This virus is also the vector of Chikungunya virus and Dengue virus. Researchers and scientists say that currently there are no vaccines developed to stop the spread of Zika virus. People should take precautionary measures to prevent mosquito bite. Being aware of the Zika virus is necessary.

Zika virus discovered in Uganda first time in 1947, and it was named ‘Zika’ because it was found in Zika Forest in Uganda. The first case of Zika virus infection reported in humans in 1952, since then the outbreaks of this virus has been recorded in the Pacific Islands, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

After entering into the human being, Zika virus goes into his blood, urine, saliva, semen and eye fluid. The virus can infect the developing fetus in infected pregnant women. That’s why birth defect (Microcephaly) can occur in babies. Microcephaly prevents the development of a child’s head, which affects the brain development adversely. Research has shown that during the first trimester of pregnancy, the risk of Microcephaly in developing fetus is very high.

For the diagnosis of Zika virus infection, RT-PCR (RRT-PCR) test and ZIKA Mac-ELISA test may be used. Nucleic acid test (RNA-NAT) may be done on the serum collected during the first 14 days of commencement of the Zika virus infection. It can also be done on urine collected at the first 14 days of the infection. A positive result of the test confirms the infection of Zika virus, but a negative result does not confirm that person is out of risk. So after negative result person should be tested for IgM antibody (Serological) in order to confirm the actual presence or absence of the virus.

Symptoms of Zika virus appear within 3 to 14 days after bites of infected mosquitoes. The infected person shows the flu-like symptoms such as fever, rash, conjunctivitis, and joint pain. These symptoms may persist for a week to several days. The dangerous thing about Zika virus is that many of infected patients do not show any symptoms.

Follow some Do’s and Don’t’s to be protected from Zika virus

–    Cover all water tanks and containers at the house.

–    Destroy all unused junk material, containers, coconut shells, tyres, etc.

–    Use larvivorous fish in ornamental tanks at houses.

–    Empty and scrub all containers holding water for a week.

–    Use bed-net at home.

–    Wear full sleeved clothing and apply mosquito repellent to avoid mosquito bites.

–    Don’t use any medicine to treat fever and self-medication should be avoided because there is no specific medicine for Zika virus disease, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

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