What is Zika Virus ?
The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus closely related to the dengue virus. Like the dengue and Chikungunya viruses, the Zika virus is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito.
There is no known vaccine or specific treatment against the Zika virus.
Most people infected with the Zika virus do not develop symptoms. Otherwise, they usually develop within 3 to 12 days after the mosquito bite and are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya. Symptoms include:
Joint pains, muscle pain, headache
Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
Symptoms often last between 4 to 7 days.
If you have travelled to an affected country, or live in an area with a known Zika case, you should monitor your health and consult a doctor if you are unwell, especially if you have a fever and rash.
At the moment, there is no cure nor vaccine to prevent Zika infection. Treatment is solely focused on relieving the symptoms. Those infected are advised to get plenty of rest, drink enough fluids, and treat pain with common medicines.
What should I do?
self-monitor for symptoms of Zika, such as fever, skin rashes, joint and muscle pains, headaches and red eyes. We should protect ourselves from mosquito bites by using mosquito repellent, wearing long, covered clothing, sleeping under mosquito nets or in rooms with wire-mesh screens or air-conditioned rooms.
What to remember if you are pregnant?
Take strict precautions against mosquito bites and seek immediate medical attention if you develop symptoms of Zika such as fever and rash, and if you live in the affected area. Those who are concerned about being infected with the Zika virus should consult and follow the advice of their doctors regarding precautions to take during pregnancy.
Like dengue fever, to prevent the spread of the virus, we must first prevent the breeding of its vector, the Aedes mosquito. The Aedes mosquito is easily identifiable by the distinctive black and white stripes on its body. It prefers to breed in clean, stagnant water easily found in our homes. To prevent breeding of the Aedes mosquito, we need to frequently check and remove stagnant water in our homes.