Zika Virus

With 28 Zika cases being reported from Thiruvananthapuram district, the Kerala Health Department has sent a State-wide alert to test all cases of fever with rashes for Zika virus (ZIKV) infection.

Information about Zika Virus:

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. It was later identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.

How does Zika Virus Spread?

Zika virus is primarily transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito from the Aedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti, in tropical and subtropical regions. Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day, peaking during early morning and late afternoon/evening.

Zika virus is also transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy, through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation.

Signs and Symptoms:

The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) of Zika virus disease is estimated to be 314 days. The majority of people infected with Zika virus do not develop symptoms. Symptoms are generally mild including fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache and usually last for 27 days.

Treatment:

There is no treatment available for Zika virus infection or its associated diseases, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

Complications of Zika Virus Disease:

Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly and other congenital abnormalities in the developing fetus and newborn. Zika infection in pregnancy also results in pregnancy complications such as fetal loss, stillbirth, and preterm birth.  

 

Zika virus infection is also a trigger of Guillain-Barré syndrome, neuropathy and myelitis, particularly in adults and older children.