Zika Virus

Also called: Zika

Zika is a virus that is spread mostly by mosquitoes. A pregnant mother can pass it to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth. It can spread through sexual contact. There have also been reports that the virus has spread through blood transfusions. There have been outbreaks of Zika virus in the United States, Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, parts of the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Most people who get the virus do not get sick. One in five people do get symptoms, which can include a fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (pinkeye). Symptoms are usually mild, and start 2 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

A blood test can tell whether you have the infection. There are no vaccines or medicines to treat it. Drinking lots of fluids, resting, and taking acetaminophen might help.

Zika can cause microcephaly (a serious birth defect of the brain) and other problems in babies whose mothers were infected while pregnant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that pregnant women do not travel to areas where there is a Zika virus outbreak. If you do decide to travel, first talk to your doctor. You should also be careful to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Use insect repellent
  • Wear clothes that cover your arms, legs, and feet
  • Stay in places that have air conditioning or that use window and door screens

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Symptoms of Zika Virus

The following features are indicative of Zika Virus:
  • mild fever
  • rash
  • joint pain
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • conjunctivitis
It is possible that Zika Virus shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Zika Virus

The following are the most common causes of Zika Virus:
  • aedes species mosquito

Other Causes of Zika Virus

The following are the less common causes of Zika Virus:
  • sexual contact
  • blood transfusion

Risk Factors for Zika Virus

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Zika Virus:
  • tropical and subtropical areas
  • unprotected sex

Prevention of Zika Virus

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Zika Virus. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • stay in air-conditioned or well-screened housing
  • wear protective clothing
  • use mosquito repellent
  • reduce mosquito habitat

Occurrence of Zika Virus

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Zika Virus cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Extremely rare less than 1000 cases

Common Age Group

Zika Virus can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Zika Virus can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Zika Virus

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Zika Virus:
  • Ultrasound: To detect microcephaly or other abnormalities of the brain
  • Amniocentesis: To screen for Zika virus

Doctor for Diagnosis of Zika Virus

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Zika Virus:
  • Infectious disease specialist

Complications of Zika Virus if untreated

Yes, Zika Virus causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Zika Virus is left untreated:
  • miscarriage
  • microcephaly
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome

Self-care for Zika Virus

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Zika Virus:
  • Stay in air-conditioned or well-screened housing: Help reduce risk of mosquito bites
  • Wear protective clothing: Help reduce risk of mosquito bites
  • Use mosquito repellent: Help reduce risk of mosquito bites

Time for Treatment of Zika Virus

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Zika Virus to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Within 1 week

Is Zika Virus Infectious?

Yes, Zika Virus is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • sexual contact

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Zika Virus.

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