Zika virus primarily spreads through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. The infection can also spread through sexual contact with an infected person. Zika virus is not deadly. However, infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other serious birth defects in babies.
Common Symptoms of Zika :
There are no specific symptoms of zika infection and most people won’t even know that they are infected by zika virus. People don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and only in extremely rare cases, people die of zika. However, the common symptoms associated with zika are:
- Joint pain
- Muscle pains
Zika Can Cause Birth Defects:
Zika infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly – a condition in which a baby’s head is smaller than the normal size; and other birth defects. Pregnant women traveling to Zika prone areas should take steps to prevent mosquito bites and should avoid sex while for at least a couple of months.
Common Precautionary methods against Zika Virus:
- Wear full sleeved shirts and full pants.
- Stay in places with air-conditioning or window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Sleep under a mosquito bed net if sleeping outdoors.
- Use EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) registered insect repellents to keep the mosquitoes at bay.
- Treat clothing and gear with permethrin.
- If you are traveling with children make sure to dress them in clothing that covers arms and legs.
- Prevent mosquito bites even after returning from travel.
Try and avoid going to Zika prone countries like Indian, Bangladesh, Pakistan and other Asian countries as well as Brazil, Argentina, and the list goes on. In case of the above-mentioned symptoms in pregnant women, consult a doctor without delay.
Written by: J. Dias