Zika Virus is spread through mosquitoes and is a member of the Flaviviridae, the virus family. The infection caused by the zika disease is called the zika fever and often has less or no symptoms. The virus was found in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. Then, it slowly spread around the world and then in the USA, Asia and Pacific
Ever wondered how the disease can affect people? Is this virus deadly or not? What about the vaccination process in India? Is Kerala being affected a lot because of the disease? Here is the complete guide for your UPCS notes.
Zika Virus: Origin and Classification
This infection is caused by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, such as A. albopictus. and A. aegypti. Zika disease shares a genus with the West Nile viruses, yellow fever, dengue, Japanese encephalitis. Here is the classification of the infection
Is Zika Virus Deadly? UPSC Notes
Zika virus can be a deadly one because it shows no symptoms and can directly cause paralysis in humans. But, the researchers and doctors have not found out if the deaths are solely due to infection or there are also other health issues that trigger it. One of the main aspects is that the disease is not fatal but it has severe long term effects and can cause many disruptions for babies while in-utero.
The disease can be passed to the uterus and can cause infections to the uterus which causes serious birth defects. In some cases, there can be miscarriages and lead to long-lasting complications. Some of the birth defects are:
#Hearing and vision loss
Zika Virus Causes and Symptoms
The disease when affected shows no signs and symptoms. Sometimes when the symptoms do occur they will be shown after 2 to 14 days after the person is bitten by the mosquito. In many cases, the signs last for a week and there are many patients who have recovered fully. But, it still makes it a serious disease.
Symptoms and signs of the disease most generally include:
#Joint pain, particularly in the hands or feet
#Red eyes (conjunctivitis)
Other symptoms and signs may include
#Fatigue or a general feeling of discomfort
Zika disease is most commonly transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito. Two Aedes species of mosquitoes are known to carry the disease and can be found all over the world
When a mosquito bites a person who has previously been infected with Zika, the virus spreads to the mosquito. The disease then enters the bloodstream of the person who is bitten by the infected mosquito, causing illness
The infection can potentially pass from a mother to her foetus during pregnancy.
Sexual intercourse can potentially carry the infection from one individual to another. People can get the disease through blood transfusions or organ donation in some situations
Here are the risk factors that help that one should keep in mind
Living in or travelling to nations where outbreaks have occurred. Travelling to tropical and subtropical areas increases your chances of contracting Zika. Several Pacific Islands, a number of countries in North America, Central, South, and islands near West Africa are all high-risk zones.
Because the insects that transmit the infection are prevalent all over the world, outbreaks are likely to continue to spread to new areas.
The majority of infections in the United States have been reported among tourists returning from other countries. The Zika virus-carrying mosquitoes, on the other hand, are found in several sections of the United States and its territories. It has been reported that local transmission exists. Local transmission has been reported in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico
Zika Virus in India: UPSC Notes
There was an outbreak of this disease which was reported in Gujarat in 2016-17. The disease has been linked to shrunken brains in children and youngsters. It is a rare auto-immune disease called Guillain-Barre syndrome. The patients were recorded in three states in India that is Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala.
Zika Virus Outburst in Kerala
Kerala is the first state which reported the virus this year. Kerala has been reported with 13 cases of infection.
Kerala validated 13 instances of mosquito-borne Zika infection for the first time on Thursday 8th July, amid attempts to govern coronavirus illness (Covid-19). All samples from the Thiruvananthapuram district that proved positive for the infection were forwarded to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune. According to the news portal, the specimens were taken for testing after a 24-year-old pregnant woman sought medication late last month with symptoms such as headache, fever and red spots on her skin which made her visit the hospital
Zika Virus Vaccine
The Zika infection vaccine is intended to protect humans from the symptoms and effects of Zika virus infection. Because Zika virus infection in pregnant women can cause a congenital syndrome in newborns, the vaccination will try to protect against congenital syndrome during this or any future outbreaks. No vaccinations have been licenced for clinical usage as of April 2019, but a number of vaccines are currently being tested in clinical studies.
An infection vaccine’s purpose is to create specific antibodies against the infection in order to avoid infection and serious disease. Limiting adverse effects like Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can occur as a result of infection, is one of the obstacles in designing a safe and effective vaccine. Furthermore, because dengue virus and infection are closely related, the vaccination must reduce the risk of dengue virus infection being enhanced by antibodies
How to Prevent It?
Well, one may think of how to prevent this infection, here are some tips that will help you.
#Use a repellent containing 20% Picaridin or 20%-30% DEET on uncovered skin. Re-apply according to the manufacturer’s guidance
#Wear neutral-coloured (light grey, beige) clothing. If probable, wear breathable, long-sleeved garments
#If accessible, spray outer or pre-soak layer gear and clothing with permethrin
#Get rid of moisture containers around residences and ensure that window and door screens work suitably
#Apply sunscreen foremost and then followed by the repellent (sooner 20 minutes later)
People say it is correct that ‘Prevention is better than cure,’ but in real life, they have no interest or time in implementing it. That’s why today we are suffering from a deadly pandemic and many other deadly diseases. The best way to stop spreading these kinds of infections is to have correct protection and prevention. Hygiene and sanitation should be taken seriously. This is the time where we all should understand that we have to prevent ourselves from these diseases. Though there is awareness, people are not serious about health and hygiene, so we all need to be at least serious now and prevent these diseases.
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