Zika Virus

What Is Zika Virus?

Zika Virus falls into the category of RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) viruses such as dengue and yellow fever. It is spread by a mosquitobite from the Aedes species. It is also sexually transmitted by an infected partner. The origins of the isolation of Zika Virus lie in Zika Forest of Uganda during 1947. During the 50s, it was found in few close parts of Africa and Asia.

Although Zika is not a fatal virus, women who get pregnant after having contracted it give birth to children with a condition called Microcephaly; characterized by hampered brain growth resulting in smaller sized heads as compared to body, speech delays andimpairment, as well as movement problems.


The symptoms of being infected with Zika Virus are quite mild in most cases because of which most people do not refer to a doctor immediately. Quite a number of infected people do not experience symptoms at all. Among those who do, the most commonly occurring ones are rashes, redness in the eyes, mild fever persisting over days on end, headache, pain in the muscles and joints. Although there has been no treatment of this virus, medications are largely prescribed by doctors that help in relieving the symptoms. Other than that, it is largely a preventative disease. Till now, it has not been proven fatal in majority of the cases, the biggest damage it does is to the unborn child of an infected mother. 

How to Protect Yourself

There are quite a few ways you can protect yourself from contracting this virus, some of which have been listed below.

• Avoid travelling to places that have a high rate of Zika Virus infections. The most common way this disease spreads is through people travelling to and from the infected areas. 
• Try to stay indoors mostly and make use of mosquito repellents both indoors and outdoors. In infected regions, it is absolutely essential to sleep under protective nets. If possible, also maintain your exercise regimen indoors until your region is declared safe from the virus.
• If you are expecting a child and your partner has had Zika virus in the past or has recently traveled to an infected region, avoid any kind of sexual interaction with your partner since there is a high chance of virus being transmitted resulting in microcephaly in the child. 
• Zika also spreads by an infected person being bitten by a normal mosquito during the first week of infection. That mosquito can then spread the virus to other people. To avoid this, it is essential that you restrict contact with people who are currently infected. And if you are infected, it is essential that you warn others of it so that they may not meet you until the symptoms have gone. 
• As far as clothing is concerned, try to cover up as much as possible by wearing full sleeves, smaller neck lines and full length pants if you are going out in the day time especially.