Zika is a mosquito-borne viral disease that causes a condition associated with fever. It is very similar to dengue fever. It is caused by an arbovirus of the flavivirus family, which causes diseases like Dengue, West Nile fever, and Japanese encephalitis.
The Zika virus
- This virus was first isolated from a rhesus monkey in Uganda in 1947.
- The virus is common in West and Central Africa but also occurs in Pakistan, India, Vietnam, Thailand, The Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
- Zika is a disease of monkeys and humans and transmitted by mosquito (Aedes aegypti) bite.
Symptoms of Zika virus
The symptoms of the diseases occur after 4-7 days of a mosquito bite. Some of the important symptoms include:-
- Muscle aches
- Rash (which is specifically maculopapular in variety)
- Conjunctivitis (redness of eyes, watering of eyes, and difficult vision)
- Joint pain (mainly joints of the hands and feet), difficulty in standing and sitting.
- Have an adverse effect on pregnant women or their babies.
It has an adverse effect on pregnant females, and the virus causes microcephaly which causes genetic defects affecting mental disease.
What is Microcephaly?
It is characterised by infants who have smaller heads. They have the low intellectual ability. These children don’t have well-developed brains.
- Difficulty in hearing.
- Difficulty in vision.
Treatment of Zika Virus
For the treatment of Zika virus, no specific medicine is available. The painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed for symptomatic relief.
Control of disease
- No specific vaccine is available.
- To control the spread of disease careful monitoring of persons who are traveling from infected countries is required.
- As Aedes Egyptian mosquitoes lay eggs in man-made water tanks, buckets, tires, machinery, pet water dishes, and pot plant trays, so do not allow to collect water in these receptacles.
- It is a must to stop mosquito breeding. The mosquito breeding sites should be destroyed.
- Empty and apply the surface spray to any old unused container that has held water. Store any containers upside down.
- Avoid using plates under pot plants.
- Empty birdbaths and pet drinking water at least weekly.
- Cover and completely seal septic tanks, rainwater tanks, or other large water storage containers.
- Dispose of garbage around your home and park area may collect water. So avoid doing this.
- Ensure roof gutters drain freely so that pools of water are not left at any low points. Throw a small number of methoprene pellets on to the roof above problem gutters.
- Fish ponds around you may help to control the breeding of mosquitoes.
How to protect from mosquito bites
- Wear loose, light-colored protective clothing in outdoor situations, covering feet, legs, and arms.
- Use repellent such as Odomos.
- Avoid scents on the body, such as perfume, deodorants, and sweat, since these can attract mosquitoes.
- Avoid being outdoors between dusk and dawn to avoid mosquito bites, particularly in poorly lit areas, rural areas, or the outskirts of large towns.