World Health Organisation (WHO) on Saturday confirmed the first instance of Zika Virus in India in nearly 65 years. The Zika virus is spread by female mosquitos of the Aedes aegypti variety – the insect also spreads yellow fever dengue and chikungunya. Scientist say the mosquito’s transmitting capacity increases with temperature. The Zika Virus can cause an infection which can cause birth defects in infants called microcephaly, according to the Indian Express. Here is a list of symptoms which tells us how dangerous the infection is:
Public should be careful 24/7 as the Aedes aegypti mosquito is usually active during day time and is particularly active during the morning and evening.
The Zika virus is believed to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier, according to an IANS report.
Zika virus infection in pregnancy causes severe disability in babies as the virus attacks stem cells in the developing brain, according to an IANS report.
Microcephaly is a condition which can cause infants to be born with small skulls and is linked to brain damage.
Although mosquitos are the primary vectors of the disease, the virus can also be transmitted sexually. Pregnant women are advised by the WHO to practice safer sex or abstain until they give birth.
The viral infection may also cause other abnormalities such as seizures, deafness, blindness and other congenital defects.
The viral infection can also lead to Guillain-Barré syndrome, a form of temporary paralysis in adults wit links to other neurological complications
Symptoms of the Zika Virus infection are similar to symptoms of dengue such as, fever, which very rarely crosses the 102-degree Fahrenheit mark, skin rashes, bloodshot eyes, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache.
Zika Virus infection has no known treatment or vaccine. Zika viral patients are usually advised to rest, drinking lots of liquids and treat pain and fever with common medicines.