Zika Virus: Its Symptoms, Risk, and Prevention

Tanuja Bisht

, Health A2Z

Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, is urging worldwide concern because of the Zika virus has the connection with the neurological birth disorder.


Zika virus infection is a kind of mild febrile viral illness transmitted by the Aedes mosquitoes.


Chikungunya and dengue spread through the same mosquitoes that transfer the Zika virus. So far, the virus has been spread over at least 20 to 24 countries across the world but Brazil has seen the highest number of people affected by the virus.




What is Zika Virus?

Zika is a virus which is spread by mosquitoes. A pregnant mother can also pass the virus to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth.


The virus can also spread through sexual contact. There have been several reports that the virus has spread through blood transfusions.


The Zika virus is in a family of viruses, known as Flavivirus, which is spread by mosquitoes. Some other viruses in the Flavivirus family that cause disease in humans are West Nile, dengue, yellow fever, and St. Louis encephalitis virus.


The virus was discovered in 1947 in the forest called Zika in Uganda and remained localized to Asia, Africa, and Micronesia for most of the past 70 years.




What Are the Symptoms of Zika Virus?

The disease due to Zika virus can cause fever, joint pain, rash, and redness in the whites of the eye (pinkeye or conjunctivitis). But most people won’t know they have the virus.


It is the fact that only about 1 in 5 people with the virus will exhibit symptoms. The vast majority of all people have no symptoms at all.


Symptoms of the viral infection can appear anywhere from 4 to 14 days after a bite from an infected Aedes mosquito. They can last from several days to about a week.


A person may call a doctor if he/she develop symptoms of the virus and live in or have visited an area where Zika is spreading.


Pregnant women who have any type of Zika symptoms at any point during pregnancy should always be tested for Zika.


Once a person has been infected, experts believe that they are probably protected from future infections of the virus.

Following are some symptoms of Zika virus including;

  • High fever
  • Severe headaches
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Severe muscle and joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Skin rash
  • Mild bleeding




Who is Most at Risk From Infection With the Zika Virus?

Especially pregnant women, who are in their first trimester of pregnancy, are at greatest risk of effective from the virus, actually, the risk is really to the fetus of the pregnant woman, not to the woman.


Several scientists have concluded that Zika virus can cause microcephaly, a brain damage, in the developing fetuses. The virus has been found in spinal fluid, brain fluid, and amniotic fluid in some infants or fetuses with microcephaly.




How Can You Prevent the Zika Virus?


The only prevention which you can take to prevent the Zika virus is if you plan to travel in affected areas, cities or country, avoid mosquito bites by using mosquito repellent throughout the day.


You can also wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, indoors and out to prevent mosquitoes.


The mosquitoes that spread Zika are aggressive in daytime often found indoors as well. So take care inside as well as outside.





I think Zika virus is well known all over the world. As the name suggests it comes from the Ziika Forest of Uganda. The virus is mainly related to the dengue, yellow fever, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis viruses.

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