We’ve all heard the news about the Zika Virus spreading in some parts of the world, but do we really understand what it is?
The Zika Virus infection was first detected in Uganda and outbreaks were reported in 2007, 2013, and 2015 in different parts of the world.
This virus is usually spread by mosquitoes and it is the same one that transmits dengue and yellow fever. This mosquito is known as the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus or tiger mosquitoes, which is usually found in tropical regions.
People who have the Zika virus may experience mild fevers, skin rashes and conjunctivitis or red eyes. Other symptoms, which may last for up to 7 days, include headaches, fatigue and joint and muscle pains.
It is believed that the Zika virus and microcephaly in babies, the rare condition of having an abnormally small head and incomplete brain development, have a link. Some countries have asked women in their areas to refrain from having babies until 2018 because of the spread of the Zika virus infection. But the World Health Organization issued a statement saying that this relationship should still be further investigated and researched on.
The Zika Virus is now spreading throughout 20 Latin American and Carribean countries including Brazil and Mexico. The surge in incidents in Brazil has caused some countries to issue travel warnings to Zika-stricken countries, especially pregnant women, to avoid contamination. Brazil has recorded 3,893 microcephaly cases in October 2015 as compared to an average of just 160 cases. This is a troubling thought, especially since the 2016 Olympics will be held in the country and thousands of people from around the world are expected to travel there for the event.
There is still no known treatment from the Zika virus infection and it is treated as a normal fever with common fever medication, getting plenty of rest and drinking a lot of fluids to hydrate the body.
According to the DOH, one of the ways to prevent the Zika Virus is to keep our area mosquito-free. We should always practice to make our surroundings clean.
What is the Zika Virus? | BayanMallOpen modal