Back in 1947, the first Zika virus was isolated in the Zika Forest in Uganda, where it got its name. And by 2014, the virus had reached a pandemic level by spreading across the Pacific Ocean. By 2015, it reached the Carribean, Mexico, and South America.
But Zika virus is not some ghost to ignore, as being infected could cause fatality especially to pregnant women. By the early 2016, it was announced that Zika virus could cause miscarriage and abnormal brain development to fetuses, through mother-to-child transmission, which raises awareness for the virus.
In 2015, two pregnant women were detected to have been infected with the virus whose fetuses had neurodevelopmental disorder (microcephaly: results to babies born with abnormally small heads). It was indicated that the Zika virus might have transmitted through the placenta. Despite the link being thought as possible but not yet proven, these findings led to two miscarriages in Brazil, and has increased since.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s website, symptoms include joint pain, rash, fever, red eyes, headache and muscle pain that would last for about a week or 2 (for some people).
Zika virus is often compared to dengue and yellow fever since its symptoms are usually quite the same, as well as the way it is transmitted to humans – through mosquitoes.
The virus could be found in the blood and through mosquito bites. It can be transmitted from one person to another.
There is no vaccine yet for the certain infection, but by adding more numbers to your rest hours, taking some pain relievers, and drinking more fluids than the usual, it could eventually be treated. (Do not take aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.)
While the medical experts are still figuring out some answers for the Zika virus, we are encouraged to take caution as well. Immediately contact your healthcare provider if the symptoms occur to anybody in the family, to prevent the transmission of the virus.
If you have travelled to certain places where Zika virus has spread, consider a round-about check-up for safety purposes.
For pregnant women who travelled in places like Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and places where the virus is pandemic in the past 3-4 months, see your doctor immediately to figure out what the next move should be.
Zika virus can be prevented by being vigilant and learning through awareness campaigns.