Zika virus: causes, symptoms and treatment

On the first of February 2016 the World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled Zika “an extraordinary event” and announced that Zika virus in Latin America is a global public health emergency. Moreover the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel warnings for people traveling to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. But what does this disease encompass? Learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatment of Zika. Are you a medical student, nurse or physician? Read on.

MNT’s article about Zika clarifies Zika transmission is caused by two species of mosquito, when infected: Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti. Zika virus has frequently occurred in tropical regions. The virus infection exists particularly in countries in Latin America.

Only 1 in 4-5 people infected with the Zika virus develop symptoms. Symptoms associated with the Zika virus include: fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis, muscle pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and vomiting. These symptoms can persist for up to a week.

Zika virus is associated with the development of the neurological condition Guillain-Barré. However, now researchers place more emphasis on recent concerns about a potential link between maternal Zika virus infection and infant microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition where an infant’s head circumference is significantly smaller than the average size for infants of the same age. Microcephaly is associated with potential severe neurologic complications: developmental delays, mental retardation and seizures. To date, tests have shown varying results regarding the possible link between birth defects and Zika virus infection.

shutterstock_365183174Until now there is no treatment for the virus. However, the CDC recommends the following for people sick with the Zika virus: rest, enough fluid intake to prevent dehydration and paracetamol in order to relieve pain and fever. Furthermore, the CDC advised that pregnant women who are diagnosed with Zika should be considered for the monitoring of fetal growth and anatomy every 3-4 weeks. Moreover, if you are infected with the Zika virus, it is important to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes during the first week of infection; the virus can be passed from humans to mosquitos via blood, increasing the risk of spread to others.

At present no vaccine is available. Therefore avoiding mosquito bites is vital to preventing transmission of Zika virus.

Read the full article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305163.php