A new virus termed as Zika virus has been recorded on Thursday for the first time in Kerala. This virus spreads with the bite of infected mosquito of Aedes species. These are the same species which causes dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. A pregnant woman if infected with the virus will be at risk to pass it on to her fetus, infecting the life inside and causing the child to be born with microcephaly and other inherited deformities.
It also creates other snags on pregnancy including preterm birth and miscarriage. As per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people infected with this virus can also pass on the virus to their sex partners.
What are the symptoms of Zika virus?
The symptoms for this virus can be seen as mild fever, conjunctivitis, rashes, muscle pain, pain in the bone joints, restlessness and headache. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) most people infected with the virus do not develop a symptom which is not a good sign.
The National Institute of Virology in Pune confirmed the infection of a woman n Kerala on Thursday. The first patient to be found positive was a 24-year-old pregnant woman from Parassala. She had symptoms like fever, headache and rashes when she was admitted on June 28. She was fairly found positive for the RT-PCR test. Further her samples were sent to the NIV (National Institute of Virology) for confirmation of Zika.
The alert regarding the virus has been announced all over the state by the Health Minister, Veena George. Also, a statement from the health department said that the patient’s condition has now improved, and she had a normal delivery on July 7.
The lady did not have a travel history. However, her mother also had the parallel symptoms a week before. Thirteen more samples out of 19 taken from all over the state are doubted to be positive for Zika virus. However, official results have not come yet. The Health Minister, Veena George commanded all district health officers to be alert on this newly detected virus which spreads through mosquito bites.
The health department said that preventive measures are being taken by the district vector, district surveillance team and the state’s entomology unit. Also, efforts have been made to take the samples of Aedes mosquitos through which this virus is spread.
There is no anti-virus treatment that would be available for Zika right now. However, the patients would recover from the illness within a week of time from the time of infection. From the study did on the virus till now, it has been known that women who are pregnant are more vulnerable to the virus than others. The virus has a maturation period of three to 14 days. Severe disease and death are rare in this case of zika viruses.
How to prevent from this Zika virus?
As there is no vaccine for this virus, you can try to get a lot of rest, avoid dehydration by drinking fluids more frequently, take prescribed medicines for fever and muscle pain. A precaution to be made while taking medicine is you should not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) unless the possibility of dengue is fully ruled out so that you can reduce risk of bleeding. If you are having some other medicine as part of some of your other treatments then first consult your doctor.
Finally, we hope that this estimate that the virus is not deadly stays true and any danger to the lives is avoided unlike in the case Covid-19.