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Is Zika virus deadly?
Researchers are uncertain whether Zika causes death or not, as Zika virus causes only mild symptoms. As serious illness and life-threatening conditions are not noted so far, Zika has not proved to be deadly so far. In some cases, Zika infection may cause more severe symptoms.
Zika virus is transmitted to humans through a type of mosquito.
Zika is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. It is also transmitted through sex, and from a pregnant woman to her fetus.
What are symptoms of Zika infection?
Many people infected with Zika virus either have mild symptoms or will no symptoms at all. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, headache, joint pains, red eyes, and muscle pain.
What is Zika?
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947. This deadly virus has spread around the world. Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Zika virus outbreaks have been reported in Africa, Asia, the Pacific islands, and in the Americas.
Zika virus may cause birth defects in babies.
Zika virus can cause certain birth defects in babies if the mother has Zike while pregnant. It can cause microcephaly (small head) miscarriage, and stillbirth. The full range of possible outcomes associated with Zika infection during pregnancy is not yet known.
Zika may be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her baby.
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The Zika virus can be transmitted from a pregnant mother to fetus any time during pregnancy or birth. Infection during pregnancy is risky to the fetus and may cause microcephaly (small head) and other severe brain defects. It can also cause miscarriage and stillbirth.
What is the treatment for Zika fever?
There is currently no vaccine available to prevent Zika. There are no medications to treat the virus. Treatment of Zika infection aims to relieve the symptoms, most of which are mild. Rest, drinking lots of fluids to prevent dehydration, acetaminophen (Tylenol) for fever and pain, and antihistamines for itching and rash are recommended. Avoid aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) until dengue infection is ruled out. Currently, there is no specific vaccine or medicine available to treat Zika virus. What is known is we can treat the symptoms by taking plenty of rest, staying hydrated by drinking fluids, and taking acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain. It is suggested not to take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
How is zika diagnosed?
Apart from taking your recent travel history and symptoms, your doctor may order blood and urine test to confirm the diagnosis. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or serology are recommended tests to diagnose zika. As, symptoms of Zika are similar to other diseases spread through mosquito bites, such as dengue and chikungunya, your doctor may order tests to look for several types of infections.
How can infection from Zika virus be prevented?
Currently, there is no vaccine available to prevent Zika. The best way to prevent Zika infection is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. We can protect ourselves from mosquito bites by wearing long sleeved shirting and long pants. Treat clothing with permethrin or buy permethrin-treated clothing. Another good way is to use insect repellents. Apply insect repellent on top of sunscreen. Use only mosquito repellants containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon, eucalyptus, and para-menthane-diol. Remember to sleep indoors with screened windows and doors, or use air conditioning. We can also use mosquito netting.