Saturday, January 30, 2016
IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT ZIKA VIRUS
1. Zika virus is an infection, transmitted by mosquito bite.
2. Common symptoms include fever, skin rash, joint pains, headache and muscle pains.
3. This infection is common in Brazil, other South American countries, Mexico and Carribean islands. However, it is likely to spread to other countries soon. No cases have been identified in India yet.
4. The mosquito that spreads Zika virus (Aedes) also spreads dengue and Chikun Gunya fever.
5. There is no vaccine to prevent Zika virus infection. So, the only method to prevent this infection is to prevent mosquito bites.
6. If Zika virus affects a pregnant woman, then, it may have adverse impact on the baby. This includes microcephaly (small brain size) and poor development of brain.
7. In rare cases, paralysis of arms and legs, due to Zika virus may occur (due to Guillain Barre syndrome).
8. An infected person can spread the zika virus infection to other, through mosquito bites. So, it is better to isolate them for a week.
9. The zika virus infection can be suspected based on the symptoms, and history of travel to affected areas within the past two weeks. The confirmation can be done by blood tests.
10. In addition to mosquito bites and mother-to-child transmission, Zika virus can also rarely spread via sexual intercourse and blood transfusion.
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Medicine), DM (Neurology)
Senior Consultant Neurologist,
Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad