Zika Fever

01/08/2018 2:19 AM
Zika Fever
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that is spread by the Aedesmosquito, the same species that transmits the dengue and chikungunya viruses.

Unlike malaria-carrying mosquitoes, Aedes is most active during the day. Barrier methods of prevention, such as mosquito nets, are less effective. The mosquitoes can survive in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Several species of Aedes can transmit Zika. The main ones are the Aedes albopictus, or Asian tiger mosquito, and the Aedes aegypti, known as the yellow fever mosquito.

The Zika virus was first identified in monkeys in Uganda in 1947, but it has affected people in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and South and Central America.

In 2016, a major outbreak in Brazil raised international awareness, and cases due to mosquito-borne transmission have been reported in the United States (U.S), in Texas and Florida.

The symptoms of infection are mild, but if a pregnant woman catches the virus, it can have a severe impact on the pregnancy and the unborn child.

Avoid spreading the virus

A person who is infected with Zika should do everything possible to avoid being bitten by a mosquito for 3 weeks after symptoms appear, because the mosquito can pass the virus to the next person. This includes people who have returned from a trip with the disease.

The person must also be careful to avoid unprotected sex, as this, too, can pass on the virus. The CDC recommend using condoms during and after traveling to regions affected by the virus.

In some countries, including the U.S., health authorities recommend that men who visit an at-risk area but do not develop symptoms should use condoms for up to 6 months if they do not have symptoms and up to 6 months from the time of symptom onset. If their partner is pregnant, they should use condoms for the duration of the pregnancy.

A person who has had the Zika virus is normally protected, and unlikely to have it again.

After the virus leaves the body, a woman can safely conceive without the risk of her child being born with microcephaly.


Based on materials from medicalnewstoday