Zika is a flavivirus found in Africa and Asia. Is was first identified on monkey in the Zika Forest of Uganda in 1947. It is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Aedes mosquito especially Aedes aegypti is the vector for transmitting this Zika virus. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Now as per studies there is no vaccine or medicine for Zika and it has spread all over the world.
Apart from mosquito bite Zika virus can be transmitted from one person to another through sexual route (vaginal, anal or oral sex).
During pregnancy Zika can be passed to her fetus can cause certain birth defects.
The incubation period of the Zika virus is almost 7-10 days. Maximum Patients remain asymptomatic in spite of the Zika virus infection. The most common symptoms of Zika are –
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can result in congenital Zika syndrome. It is associated with microcephaly and brain calcification, congenital chorioretinal atrophy. Congenital glaucoma also occurs. Zika virus-infected child adults are prone to develop Guillain Barre Syndrome, Neuropathy, etc.
The diagnosis is made by a blood test. IGM type of antibody detected in serum up to 1 week and IgG type of antibody detected after 1 week by MAC ELISA. RT-PCR (Realtime PCR) detects the virus in blood or urine within 2 weeks of illness.
There is no specific treatment for the Zika virus. It is treated Symptomatically. Sofosbuvir is under trial to treat the Zika virus. Plenty of fluids and adequate rest is essential. For fever and body-ache, Paracetamol can be used. Aspirin and other NSAIDs are usually avoided.