Zika Virus-How Can You Be Safe?


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There is a growing fear of Zika virus outbreak in India. Zika outbreak has been seen in Jaipur and parts of Rajasthan.

Zika, a virus transmitted by mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti), unknown to almost everyone until recent days, has now become the subject of dire warnings from the Centers for Disease Control(CDC) and the World Health Organization(WHO), which announced recently that the virus is spreading explosively.

The mosquito responsible for Zika is also responsible for the spread of Dengue and Chikungunya virus. This mosquito breeds extensively in freshwater and given the hygiene record of India, such pools are in abundance in the country.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, diseases that  spread through the same mosquitoes that transmit Zika.

The most common indicators of the infection are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Other common indications include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period for Zika virus disease is unknown but is likely to be a few days to a week.

The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for few days to a week.

Zika virus ordinarily remains in the blood of infected person for a few days but it can be found longer in some people.

See a doctor if you develop the symptoms or if you have visited an area where Zika cases are common. The doctor may order blood tests to look for Zika in your blood.

What is the treatment?

No vaccine or medications are currently available to prevent or treat Zika infection.But the symptomatic treatment includes:

  1. Take plenty of rest.
  2. Keep yourself hydrated with a lot of water.
  3. Take medicine such as paracetamol to relieve fever and pain.
  4. If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking any other medication.

Here are some preventive measures that you can take to stay safe:

  1. Wear only long-sleeved clothing to prevent mosquito bites.
  2. Use window screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  3. Use a mosquito bed net if there are no window screens.
  4. Use mosquito repellent if you plan to stay outdoors.

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