What is the Zika Virus?

The Zika virus is a flavivirus, which is part of the same family of viruses that includes yellow fever, West Nile virus, chikungunya and dengue fever.

The virus is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, which bites an infected person and spreads the virus to other people.

Twenty percent of the people infected with Zika virus become ill with the virus.

The incubation period for the Zika virus is unknown.

But the illness may last for up to to a week.

Symptoms of the Zika virus include a mild fever, rash, muscle pain, headache, weakness and red eyes.

There are no vaccine or medications available for the Zika Virus but bed rest, drinks liquids and taking paracetamol to relieve fever and pain can help treat the symptoms of the virus.

People who had previously been infected with the Zika virus can also infect other people via blood transfusion and sexual contact because the virus can remain in their bloods for a while.

Because the virus is sexually transmittable, pregnant women are susceptible to infection and can transmit the virus to her fetus.

Infants affected with the Zika virus are at risk of developing Microcephaly.

Microcephaly is a birth defect characterized by the baby’s head being smaller than expected when compared to other babies of the same sex group.

Babies affected with this defect might have smaller brains that might lead to incomplete brain development.

To avoid being infected avoid traveling to the affected areas, which is most of South America.

If you do travel to these areas avoid getting infected by using mosquitoes repellent over sunscreen, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts that are thick enough to block a mosquito bite.

You can also avoid getting infected by sleeping in air-conditioned rooms protected by mosquito nets.

Photo by Surachai. Published on 28 November 2011
Stock photo – Image ID: 10065554

Tell me what you think