Most of us must have been hearing news about different diseases spreading throughout the world including swine influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome, Ebola virus disease Zika virus (ZIKV). Zika virus is a mosquito borne disease which was 1st identified in 1947 in monkeys. It is spread mainly by the bite of an infected mosquito, species Aedes. Before it was only seen in monkeys, later it was seen in humans in people in 1952 in Uganda and the Republic of Tanzania.
ZIKV is one of the re-emerging arthropod borne disease. It is a single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the genus Flavivirus. Zika virus has majorly two geographically different lineages: Asian and African. In African ZIKV, monkeys are the major host and humans are the occasional host, but in Asian ZIKV humans are the main host.
Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and other species of Aedes mosquito which breeds in fresh standing water is the main cause of Zika virus transmission. When an infected mosquito bites the susceptible host-virus gets transmitted.
Symptoms and signs of Zika Virus infection occur only in about 20% cases maximum being asymptomatic. Symptoms of Zika can appear from 3 to 14 days of an infected mosquito bite. Fever, rash, conjunctivitis/pinkeye, joint pain is the major symptoms. Other symptoms include myalgia, asthenia, edema, gastrointestinal disturbance.
There is no such specific prevention method for Zika virus. Eliminating mosquito breeding sites and avoid getting bitten from mosquito are the major preventive measure.
Mosquito control: either larval or adult control: Vector control operation framework for Zika virus
Reduce mosquito bites, mainly during day time: Wearing clothes that cover the whole body. Putting windows screens closing doors and windows.
Rawal G, Yadav S, Kumar R. Zika virus: An overview. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. 2016;5(3):523-527. doi:10.4103/2249-4863.197256.