Top 5 Interesting Facts About Zika Virus: “Prevention Is Better Than Cure!”

Perhaps, everyone is now aware of the outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil and other parts of the world including Florida, US.
Due to the possible connection of Zika virus to the neurological birth defect known as microcephaly, the outbreak of this mosquito-borne virus in various parts of the Americas has caught international attention.
That is why each and every nation is undertaking all the preventive measures to ensure they keep the virus out of their state. If you have heard of the Zika virus and wondering what it’s and whether you are a risk, you aren’t alone.
The Zika virus refers to a mosquito-borne infection spread mainly by yellow fever (Aedes aegypti) mosquito that is found in Florida, United States, along the Gulf Coast and also in the Hawaii. However, it has been discovered as far north as Washington D.C. Besides, the common Asian Tiger (Aedes albopictus) can transmit this virus, and often travels as far north as New York and Chicago in warm temperatures.
In 1947, the Ugandan monkeys tested positive for Zika virus. This led to the discovery of Zika virus. Later, it spread to South Pacific. In 2007, it led to an outbreak on the Yap Island in the Federated States of Micronesia.
Due to the small population of the Island, scientists failed to observe whether the virus caused side effects such as neurological damage or birth defects. Symptoms such as joint pain, rash, fever and red eyes are usually considered the flu or even ignored.
Brazil experienced an outbreak of Zika cases in early 2015, and the virus spread quickly to other regions of the Americas. Possibly, it could have been introduced in 2014. This was the period when Brazil hosted an international canoeing competition and the FIFA World. Unfortunately, the Zika virus is currently in 23 nations in Americas.
In 2016, several health officials in Brazil had noted another worrying trend: microcephaly rates were increasing. Microcephaly is a rare birth defect in which an infant is born with an abnormally small head.
Since authorities started to investigate the in October, they reported over 4000 cases of microcephaly in Brazil. In 2014, less than 150 cases were reported.
According to the state’s governor, the number of individuals in Florida who have tested positive for the Zika virus has jumped to 42.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already issued a travel advisory for Miami’s Wynwood community and part of Miami Beach. Local Zika cases have been reported in both places.
As the Zika infections keep spreading through the Americas -with some imported cases in the US-here is what everyone should know about this virus and their risk.
1. Infected Aedes mosquitoes transmit Zika virus
In most cases, infected mosquitoes transmit Zika virus to people-Most notably, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The Aedes mosquito that found around the world in tropical, as well as subtropical areas, are the primary agent for the rapid spread of Zika virus.
These mosquitoes also transmit the Chikungunya and dengue. They breed in water-filled ponds and containers, are mainly active during dusk and dawn. These mosquitoes become infected themselves when they bite an infected person, sucking blood which contains the Zika virus, and then spread the virus when they bite another individual.
2. Zika virus has no specific vaccine or treatment
Currently, there’s no treatment or vaccine for Zika infection, but a blood test can be conducted to diagnose the disease. Individuals who fell ill take medicines like acetaminophen to lower the pain and fever associated with the disease.
The United States Institute of health is working very to come up with a proper vaccine, but the process might take long. Meanwhile, the only technique to treat Zika infection is to try and ease its symptoms.
3. The risk increases with temperature rise
The primary agent – Aedes aegypti mosquitoes- for the transmission of Zika virus appears to operate like a ‘heat-driven missile of the infection.” The high temperatures provide favorable conditions for the mosquito which transmits Zika virus including a buffet of dangerous diseases such as chikungunya and dengue fever, scientists say.
During the seasons of the high temperatures you’ve more mosquitoes feed more regularly and having a higher chance of acquiring the virus. Further, the virus usually replicates faster in hot conditions, and thus, the mosquitoes can spread earlier in their life.
4. The Possibility Of Getting A Cure
Although there are no cases of Zika virus in India, their scientists recently claimed to have discovered two vaccines for this deadly virus. Their work started a year ago during the outbreak of the disease, and they’re now testing their vaccines on animals.
Once they’re sure of the effect, they’ll possibly make the vaccine available. Until then, the only way to treat this infection is to ease its symptoms. This can be carried out by drinking a lot of fluids, getting enough rest, and taking acetaminophen to relieve pain and fever.
5. How is it related to sex?
Now, we understand that Zika virus can be sexually transmitted. Additionally, the virus can survive in male ejaculate for extended periods-perhaps, 6 or more months after recovery. Female to male transmission has been reported as well.
Therefore, you should always use condoms when having sex when you’re away, and if you are a man, you must continue to do so for about eight weeks after you return home.

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