What is Zika virus?
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae and the genus Flavivirus, transmitted by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes. The World Health Organisation has declared that the clusters of brain-damaged babies born in Brazil – linked to but not proven to be caused by the Zika virus – constitute a public health emergency of international concern.
What is symptoms?
About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika).
The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.
The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for a few days but it can be found longer in some people.
Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
Deaths are rare.
How to diagnosis?
The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, diseases spread through the same mosquitoes that transmit Zika.
See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above and have visited an area where Zika is found.
If you have recently traveled, tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled.
Your healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya.
What is treatment?
No vaccine or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika infections.
Treat the symptoms:
Get plenty of rest.
Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
Take medicine such as acetaminophen to relieve fever and pain.
Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen. Aspirin and NSAIDs should be avoided until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of hemorrhage (bleeding). If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.
23 countries in the Americas have active Zika virus transmission