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What’s the Zika virus, and why should we worry about it?

Case of Zika virus being discovered according to Danish Hospital. (Image Courtesy: Google)

A Danish tourist has been infected by the Zika Virus after visiting over the regions of southern and Central America, according to Danish hospital officials. But the authority says that this was not being the only case discovered. In a statement being received from Aarhus University Hospital, the patient who was been infected ran from fever, headache and muscle aches and was being discovered as having virus on last Tuesday.

No further information is being received from the hospital side but it says it is having little risk of spreading in Denmark because the mosquito which is being carrying the virus is not being found in the country. Romit Jain, from the European centre of Disease Prevention and Control says that there has been confirmed cases of the virus infections in Germany and Britain.

Discovery and seriousness 

The Zika Virus, being discovered decades ago in Africa was long thought to be a nuisance illness with symptoms milder than dengue. However, with a large Zika outbreak in Brazil, researchers started began reporting an increase in microcephaly (babies born with abnormally small heads). In pregnant women, Zika Virus can infect the placenta, which ultimately passes over to the foetus. It is quite unclear that foetus are being more vulnerable during certain period of pregnancy.

Earlier the disease or the virus were not being linked to the brain malformation until recent months. The possible reason could be small and isolated outbreaks in the past.

Zika Virus: Isolation

Zika Virus was first being isolated in 1947 from a rhesus macaque in the Zika Forest of Uganda and in 1968 being isolated for the first time from humans in Nigeria. From the span of 1951 to 1981, evidences were found for the human infection from other African countries which includes Central African Republic, Egypt, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda along with some parts of Asia.

Zika Virus: Impact

The new born babies being born with this virus are being born with deformed head and not able to act normally as a normal human. It increases the further burden over the public health department with needs to more focus over the same and have enough facilities in terms of Doctors, relevant medicines and providing proper guidance to the infected individual. This economic along with the burden of diabled child proves to be of much impact as without proper solution or medicine being available it leads to problem of suffering it for a longer time.

Zika Virus: USA infections

Zika virus has already hit upon Puerto Rico, which has reported its first acquired case in December. After that the virus moved quite rapidly from the South America to Caribbean and Central America. According to one of the estimate by one of the researchers, Zika Virus might have arrived in South America during the period of 2014 World Cup games being held in Brazil. As Zika virus carries no symptoms it is quite difficult to tell its exact arrival. The first cases of the disease were not reported until the following May.

Brazil is being scheduled to host the Olympics this summer, which would have chances for the mosquitoes containing Zika Virus. It would have chance to infect people around the world.

Zika Virus: Brazil

Gleyse Kelly da Silva, a 27 year old toll was a booth worker and was facing rash, a light fever and back ache for three days last April. Her daughter Maria Giovanna was being born with microcephaly. Silva still hopes that her daughter will learn to speak and being frustrated by the public health system, which is yet to provide any therapy.

Being lack of doctors and not getting proper appointments she comments, “Faster the therapy starts the more better will be for my daughter.”.

More than 1000 cases has been reported in just a few months in Pernambuco state, being the epicenter of the Zika outbreak. For a country that has greatly been struggled with the dengue, with the spread of Zika was being found to be completely off guard. A tropical climate, denser cities, poor sanitation facilities and slipshod construction were proving to be the ideal conditions for the mosquito breeding.

Pernambuco has reported more than one third of the 3,700 cases of microcephaly which are being reported in Brazil since September. The hospitals in the state are being getting overwhelmed. There has been decline in the newly reported cases but the disease outbreak has left many babies with the defects to be taken care of. A kind of new burden on the already deficient hospitals in public health system which is being suffering from budget cuts mainly because of the government shortfalls and economic recession.

Zika Virus: India

Zika virus is being spread by biting of mosquitoes from an infected person to an non-infected person. Yet there are no report whether it is been sexually transmitted or not. (Image Courtesy: Google)
Zika virus is being spread by biting of mosquitoes from an infected person to an non-infected person. Yet there are no report whether it is been sexually transmitted or not. (Image Courtesy: Google)

Zika Virus: Symptoms

Some of the common symptoms being faced when being affected by the zika virus include:

  1. About 1 in 5 people being affected by the virus becomes ill (i.e. develops zika).
  2. The most common symptoms being observed by the virus include fever, rash, joint pain or conjunctivitis (i.e. red eyes). The other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period of the virus is not known but is likely to be in few days or week. It is usually three to 12 days after the person is being bitten by an infectious mosquito.
  3. The illness being caused due to this virus is mild with the symptoms being lasting from several days to weeks.
  4. Unlike other mosquito borne infections, Zika Virus does not develop fatal complications among adults and children.

Zika Virus: Curiousness

The main reason behind the curiousness among the individuals about the virus, is because it causes severe birth defects. Being first detected in Brazil in the month of May, Brazil’s ministry of health began receiving reports about the unusual growth of large number of cases of microcephaly (a disease in which new born babies are being born with smaller heads or with incomplete brain development).

Brazil has now reported around 3,500 such cases with an average of 100 to 200 cases per year. At least 38 babies has been died in this case as having no serious treatment possible in the disease. Children’s possessing microcephaly are being discovered to possess range of issues:

  1. Facial Distortions – Distortions in the facial farts in terms of their appearance and their locations.
  2. Development Disabilities – Not possessing proper quality of physical development.
  3. Short Stature – Height disorder leading to shorter heights.
  4. Difficulties with balance and coordination – Problems being faced with human body stability due to lack of consciousness.
  5. Speech Problems – Problems being related to the speech or talking ability of the affected individual.
Some of the most affected areas, being more prone to be affected by Zika Virus. (Image Courtesy: Google)
Some of the most affected areas, being more prone to be affected by Zika Virus. (Image Courtesy: Google)

Zika Virus: Diagnosis

Some of the common diagnosis technique include:

  1. The symptoms which are caused by zika virus are being similar as those of dengue and chikungunya, and is also being spreaded by means of the same kind of mosquitoes.
  2. If you have recently traveled, then provide your destination information to your healthcare provider about when and where you have traveled.
  3. The healthcare can provide corresponding blood tests for its detection.

Zika Virus: Treatment

A new born baby being born in Pernambuco state of Brazil, being born with microcephaly.
A new born baby being born in Pernambuco state of Brazil, being born with microcephaly. (Image Courtesy: Google)

Some of the means of treating the Zika Virus are included below:

  1. No vaccine or medications are being available until now to prevent or treat the virus.
  2. Treating the symptoms:
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink as much fluids as possible to avoid dehydration.
  • Take medicines such as acetaminophen or paracetamol, to relieve the pain.
  • Do not take aspirin or any other kind of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen or naproxen.
  1. If you have Zika avoid mosquito bites for the first week to avoid spreading of the disease.

Zika Virus: Prevention

The preventive measures for the Zika Virus are almost same as that of Dengue and Chikungunya. The best way to prevent it includes informing and educating the people about the possible sources of the disease and guiding them to prevent them. Some of the common steps to be taken for its prevention include:

  1. Reduce as much breeding sites as possible for the mosquitoes by keeping the liquid containers covered.
  2. Do not allow to collect water in pots or unused tyres.
  3. Make usage of insect repellents.
  4. Wear clothes which covers as much body as possible.
  5. Encourage usage of physical barriers to mosquitoes like screens and mosquito nets.

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