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How deadly is the Zika Virus?

India TV Lifestyle Desk New Delhi 03 Jun 2017, 11:52:48 IST
India TV Lifestyle Desk

Zika Virus was first identified in Africa in 1947. It was named after Zika Forest of Uganda. Zika virus is a mosquito-borne disease which is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes. The wave of Zika Virus has recently been found in Central and South America. According to the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC), this virus is linked to various serious birth defect and can be spread through sexual contact.Recently, three cases of Zika has been detected in Gujarat, India. This has created a panic among people. But need not panic, Here are few things that you should know about Zika. 

What happens when affected by Zika Virus?

Most of the people who are affected by Zika virus have no symptoms. But in some cases, the sufferer might have symptoms of a rash, conjunctivitis, fever and headache.

Zika virus causes Microcephaly which are seen in new born. It is a rare condition. Babies affected by Microcephaly usually have a small head or the head stops growing after birth. It occurs due to infections during pregnancy. Sometimes babies born with Microcephaly develop entirely normal but in some cases, they face various other problems. Cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, hearing loss and vision problems are some other symptoms that define whether the baby has been affected by Microcephaly or not.

The treatment for brain remains incurable as the doctors have still not been able to find out the solution to small head. Dr. Hannah M. Tully, a neurologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital who specializes in brain malformations says, “There is no way to fix the problem, just therapies to deal with the downstream consequences.”  

Is there any cure?

No vaccine currently exists for Zika Virus. But in June 2016, researchers found that both Dengue and Zika Virus can be neutralized by the same antibodies. Dengue and Zika Virus are spread by the same mosquito. Both the diseases are from the same viral family named, Flaviviridae.

According to World Health Organisation, people diagnosed with Zika virus should take plenty of rest, drink fluid and treat pain and fever with common medicines.

Precautions for Zika Virus

  1. Women who are pregnant should not travel to places affected with Zika.
  2. Avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellent or wear full sleep clothes.
  3. Make use of window screen to keep mosquitoes away.
  4. Reduce stagnant water as they help in increasing number of mosquitoes.