Friday, 23 September 2016

What are Zika Virus?

Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae and the genus Flavivirus. Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters. They can also bite at night. Its name comes from the Zika Forest of Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947. The infection is known as Zika fever or Zika virus disease. Zika virus is related to the dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya viruses. Outbreaks did not occur outside of Africa until 2007, when it spread to the South Pacific.


Aedes Albopictus Mosquito- it causes Zika.

Since the 1950s, it has been known to occur within a narrow equatorial belt from Africa to Asia. From 2007 to 2016, the virus spread eastward, across the Pacific Ocean to the Americas, leading to the 2015–16 Zika virus epidemic.

The disease can cause fever, rash, joint pain, and redness in the whites of the eye. But most people won’t know they have it. The most common symptoms of Zika are
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
Other symptoms include:
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
Symptoms can last for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.

There’s no treatment, but most people with symptoms do well with over-the-counter medications for aches and pains. The disease usually runs its course within a week or so. There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.

More in depth information is available as World Healt Organization site : www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/

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