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With few cases of Zika virus being reported from India recently, there is panic among the community at large. What if I am infected with Zika virus, what will happen and what to do next?
These are a few of the questions that might be haunting you right now. Well, if you are one among this group then firstly you need to be aware about certain facts about the Zika virus and how it spreads.
Following which a couple of precautions are needed to prevent the spread of the virus.
Before we dwell into how the Zika virus spreads, it is very important to learn a bit about its history. The Zika virus was first identified in the year 1947 in monkeys in Uganda and later in 1952 among humans.
A larger outbreak of this Zika virus was again seen in the year 2007.
Meanwhile, the complications related to Zika virus were further noted in 2015. Along with the weakening of the immune system, muscle weakness, a birth defect where a baby's head is smaller than expected were noted.
Since 2015, Zika virus and associated complications have made its mark across 46 countries.
So in order to know about how the Zika virus spreads, check out the details here.
How Does Zika Virus Spread?
1. Mosquito Bite:
The single most major cause for the spread of Zika virus is through mosquito bite. Zika virus is a mosquito-borne disease that is transmitted primarily by an infected female (Aedes aegypti) mosquito. This is the same mosquito type that is responsible for the spread of chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever.
that it can also be transmitted through sex as well. Zika virus has been detected in semen, blood, urine, saliva as well as body fluids found in the brain and spinal cord which is why it has been found to be transmitted through sex.
This is also one of the major causes for rising birth defects as the mother gets infected during pregnancy.
3. Blood Transfusion:
Blood transfusion is yet another major cause for the spread of Zika virus. People who have donated blood and witness symptoms of Zika virus infections need to report it immediately and get it checked. However, studies and investigations are still being conducted in this regard.
Symptoms Of Zika Virus Infection:
Like any other infection, the symptoms related to Zika virus infections are no different. Mild fever, rashes, muscle and joint pain, headache, weakness and in a few cases conjunctivitis are the major symptoms of the infection. These symptoms last for about 4-7 days.
Meanwhile, there are also a few cases where the patients do not have any significant symptoms at all.
Hence, one needs to be very careful about the symptoms and also taking extra precautionary measures while travelling to the endemic countries is a must to prevent contracting the infection caused due to Zika virus.