Mosquitoes spread many types of viruses and parasites that can cause diseases like Chikungunya, Dengue, Zika, and Malaria. The #Zikavirus is “spreading explosively” in the Americas and can infect up to four million people, the WHO warned yesterday as it issued a warning to all countries, including INDIA.
Zika is a disease caused by Zika virus. Zika is transmitted through female Aedes mosquitoes. There is no treatment or vaccine available for Zika. People with Zika virus typically have symptoms like – mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle fatigue, joint pains, and headache. The symptoms normally last for two to seven days.
Transmission of this infection happens with mosquito bite in the morning hours. In pregnant women around the time of birth if the mother is infected there are chances of Zika virus passing to newborn babies too, but chances are rare. Zika virus can spread through Blood Transfusion & sexual transmission too.
Zika virus causes brain damage in babies. This mosquito also carries the viruses that cause Dengue and Chikungunya which are of great public health concern in tropical countries like India.
It may be dangerous to India as the same type of mosquito spreads dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever too. The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, as these diseases re-spread through the same mosquito ‘Aedes Mosquito’.
As there is no vaccine for Zika, Prevention is the only option
- Use mosquito repellent creams, liquids, machines, nets to avoid mosquito bites.
- Mosquitoes that spread Zika bite mostly during day times.
- Stop mosquitoes from breeding by keeping surroundings clean, removing standing water, by covering water storage containers, tanks, units, cover open vents or plumbing pipes etc.
- Use screens for doors & windows, repair if any holes in them.
If you are travelling to countries where Zika virus or other viruses spreading because of, please take the following necessary steps as preventive measures:
- Wear long-sleeved dresses, shirts and long pants.
- Use mosquito repellents without fail & sleep under a mosquito net.
- Do not use repellents on babies younger than 2 months of age.
- Do not apply insect repellents on eyes, near the mouth, on cuts or irritated skin.
- Choose your hotel or lodging with air conditioning or screens on windows and doors.
No vaccine or medications are available to prevent Zika.