Zika is one of the recent health scares that has caught the attention of the global health community.
Zika is a disease which is caused by the Zika virus. This is spread to people primarily through mosquito bite by an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes become infected when they bite people already having Zika virus. This can also be transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy or childbirth.
Typically 1 in 5 persons infected with Zika become ill. Some of the common symptoms of Zika include fever, joint pain, rashes and conjunctivitis. These symptoms can last even for several weeks. Once you notice these symptoms, consult your physicians immediately.
If a pregnant woman is infected with Zika, it may result into certain birth defects in the children like microcephaly (where baby’s head is abnormally small).
Before 2015, Zika virus outbreaks have occurred in certain areas of Southeast Asia, Africa and Pacific Islands. Recently, there have been instances of Zika in several countries of Central and South America and the outbreaks are being heard of in other countries too. India has to be on the alert to Zika since international travel, especially from from central and South America, Africa and the Caribbean Islands can potentially carry the virus into the country.
Treatment of Zika:
Currently, there is no vaccine or specific medicine to treat Zika. Treating the symptoms is the best that can be done to fight Zika, as of now. Some of the steps you can take are:
– Get sufficient rest.
– Prevent dehydration with fluid intake.
– Take medicines to reduce fever and pain.
– If you are already on medication, talk to your physician before taking additional medication.
– Take adequate precautions to prevent mosquito bites and hence avoid spreading of Zika. Make use of mosquito repellents and mosquito nets.
How can you prevent getting infected with Zika:
– Avoid mosquito bites. Use mosquito repellents & mosquito nets.
– Take precautions not to let mosquitoes inside your house or workplace.
– Keep yourself properly covered to avoid mosquito bites.
– Keep your place clean and hygienic and avoid it becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
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