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Zika Virus Outbreak : How To Protect Yourself?

Medical history might have witnessed many health advices regarding Zika Virus but last week the most strange health advice was released by the El Salvador government. The government has claimed that the women must not get pregnant for the following two years. On the other hand, the concerned authorities in Ecuador, Colombia and Jamaica have also released the similar statements but they claimed that the women must avoid pregnancy for just a few months.

virus zika

When pondered over the hidden mystery behind these advices, recent outbreak of Zika virus was the only answer provided by these authorities. Zika Virus out-break has hit the areas of Samoa, Puerto Rico, Caribbean, U.S. Virgin Islands, including the 21 countries in American continent.

Credits: www.cbc.ca
Credits: www.cbc.ca

Scientists discovered this virus in 1947 when they came upon a monkey suffering from Feverish Rhesus in the Zika forest. Scientists were, at the time conducting a research on the causes of yellow fever in this Ugandan forest when they accidently discovered Zika virus. Later on, in the year 1958, scientists further discovered that Aedes mosquito is the primary culprit that spreads this virus with its bite.

viral infection

The recent outbreak of Zika virus basically originated in an island based in Pacific Ocean in the year 2007. Zika virus further spread towards an archipelago called French Polynesia, by the year 2013. This archipelago is located at the distance of around 5000 miles from the Pacific island called Yap, where the virus first appeared in 2007. The virus further spread towards the other areas of Polynesia, invading the Easter Island.

Pacific Island Yap
Pacific Island Yap

Zika virus reached the Brazilian region in the year 2014 and affected almost 1.5 million Brazilian natives.  Doctors were of the opinion that Zika Virus might have invaded Brazil during the World Cup of year 2014.

WHO has recently released the statement declaring that Zika Virus has high chances of spreading to almost every country of the American continent expect for the countries of Chile and Canada due to the absence of Aedes mosquitoes.

How to recognize Zika Virus?

Zika virus doesn’t reveal its symptoms in all of the patients. When the virus invaded the island of Yap, around 77% of those infected with this virus didn’t even knew that they were infected. But if anybody infected with this virus does reveal symptoms; the most common symptoms that will be experienced are:

zika virus symptoms

  • Red itchy rash
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Inflammation in eyes
  • Pain in joints
  • Muscular pain

Health Complications resulting due to Zika virus

Although this virus is not fatal and people usually get to recover within a week, still there are two grave complications attached with this virus.

Zika Virus Treatment

  1. Guillain-Barre syndrome-this syndrome causes severe weakness and paralysis of the body.
  2. Microcephaly-birth defect that effects the growth of a baby’s brain.

How to protect yourself?

Zika virus can be prevented by following these protective measures:

How to protect yourself from zika virus

  • You must wear clothes covering your entire body when going outside
  • Your house must contain screened-in windows and you must not let water gather inside the house
  • While napping during the day, you must use mosquito net
  • The clothes that you use must be sprayed with Permethrin
  • Beware during the daytime because Aedes mosquito attacks during daytime

Beside all the above mentioned guidelines, you must also keep in mind that Zika virus also transmits during unsafe sex, so beware if you are residing in areas infested with this virus.

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