News: Recently, Zika Virus Disease (ZVD) was reported for the first time in Kerala.
- Zika virus is amosquito-borne flavivirus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. It was later identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
- ZVD is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes (AM),mainly Aedes aegypti.
- This is the same mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.
- Zika virus is also transmittedfrom mother to fetus during pregnancy, through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation.
- Symptoms are generally mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. Most people with Zika virus infection do not develop symptoms.
- Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause infants to be born with microcephaly(smaller than normal head size) and other congenital malformations, known as congenital Zika syndrome.
- There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.Instead, the focus is on relieving symptoms and includes rest, rehydration and acetaminophen for fever and pain.