Knowledge Articles | All about the Zika Virus

Zika Virus

- Zika is a virus spread by Aedes mosquito from one person to another through its bite. It's the same mosquito which spreads diseases like Dengue and Chikungunya.

- Unlike other mosquitoes, Aedes mosquito bites during the day and needs very less water to lay its larva. This is the reason why it is hard to escape the bite of Zika.

- This virus was first found in a monkey at a place called Zika forest, thus the name Zika has arrived. That was during the year 1947. By 1954, this virus was found in humans too.

- Initially this virus used to affect only those who lived in Africa and Asian continents. It was only in 2007 that this virus was found in Yap Island which is neither in Africa nor in Asia.

- By 2014, Zika has reached the American continents. Countries such as Brazil in South America and Panama in North America were worst hit by the Zika virus.

- In Brazil alone, hundreds of cases were being reported every month. The virus has slowly spread to USA where many states have recorded the occurrence of Zika.

- 20% of the people who acquire Zika virus would get Zika fever. Zika fever is associated with symptoms like fever, rashes, joint pains and red eyes.

- There is no cure for Zika virus. A few days of rest and plenty of fluids would provide some relief. Tablets like paracetamol would help to control the fever.

- Zika virus can be really dangerous if it bites pregnant women. Such women can give birth to children with a deadly disease called Microcephaly.

- Microcephaly is a disease where children are born with severe problems in brain. Their brain would not be fully developed and they cannot be as active as a normal child.

- As there is no medicine available to either prevent the virus or control it, governments are taking other precautions to stop the spread of Zika virus.

- USA has advised its citizens not to travel to the countries affected with Zika virus. Canada has asked its citizens not to donate blood after travelling back from countries with Zika virus.

- But here is some good news! Scientists from America and India are trying to invent a vaccine for Zika. But this might take a few years for the vaccine to be available for everyone.