Zika Virus: So far 28 patients of Zika in Kerala: know everything about this mosquito-borne virus. According to Health Minister Veena George, Zika has been confirmed in five more people. The infection has now spread to a total of 28 people in the state. The first case came to light on 7 July. A 24-year-old pregnant woman was found infected with the Zika virus in Thiruvananthapuram. After this, cases started coming up from many other districts as well. Surveillance has been increased in the border districts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka adjoining Kerala.
What is Zika Virus? How does it spread?
The Zika virus was identified in the Zika forest in Uganda. The virus was isolated there for the first time in 1947. The gene of this virus is similar to dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis.
This virus is spread by the bite of a mosquito named Aedes aegypti. This mosquito usually bites during the day. This mosquito also gives dengue and chikungunya. This virus is more dangerous for pregnant women because it causes deformity in the child.
Where has this virus spread?
Sporadic cases of the Zika virus occurred from the 1960s to the 1980s. These cases were found in Africa, America, Asia and the Pacific. The first outbreak of the Zika virus occurred on Yap Island in 2007. After this, the virus spread on a large scale in French Polynesia. In 2015, many cases of this virus were also found in Brazil.
What are the symptoms of the Zika virus?
The symptoms of Zika are very similar to those of dengue. The incubation period of the virus usually ranges from 3 days to two weeks, after which symptoms appear. Symptoms usually last for 2 to 7 days.
People infected with the Zika virus may experience fever, body pain, joint pain and headache. Conjunctivitis may also occur in some cases. According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), most people do not show symptoms.
What is the treatment for the Zika virus?
There is no cure for the disease caused by the virus, nor has any vaccine been made so far. Doctors do supportive care (treat according to the symptoms). The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gives these suggestions in case of infection with the Zika virus:
- get enough rest
- Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration
- If there is fever and pain, then medicine like acetaminophen can be taken.
- Avoid Aspirin and Other Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs to Reduce Bleeding Risk Until Dengue Runout
- If you are taking medicines for any other disease, then definitely talk to the doctor before taking any medicine.
How to prevent the Zika virus?
Since there is no cure, prevention is the only solution. According to experts, some measures can be taken to avoid mosquitoes:
- Use a repellant containing 20%-30% DEET or 20% picaridin on exposed skin
- Wear neutral-coloured clothing, if possible, wear long-sleeved clothing
- Spray the outer surface of clothing with permethrin, if available
- Do not allow water to accumulate in the house.
- Apply sunscreen first and then repellant