Fact 1: About the Zika virus
- Zika fever is caused by the Zika virus (ZIKV), an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus).
- The Zika virus is a member of the Flavivirus genus in the family Flaviviridae.
- RNA virus
- It is related to dengue, yellow fever, West Nile and Japanese encephalitis, viruses that are also members of the virus family Flaviviridae.
Fact 2: Why the name ‘Zika’?
- It is named after the ‘Zika forest’ in Uganda.
- It was subsequently identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
- The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.
- The vector is Aedes mosquitoes
Fact 4: Symptoms
Fact 5: Diagnosis
Fact 6: Treatment
- No specific treatment or vaccine currently available. Zika virus disease is usually relatively mild and requires no specific treatment. If symptoms last for a longer period, seek medical attention.
- The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.
Potential complications: Two major diseases seem to be associated with Zika disease. They are
Fact 8: Mode of Transmission
- Primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (A. aegypti and A. albopictus)
- Mother to child: A mother already infected with Zika virus near the time of delivery can pass on the virus to her newborn around the time of birth.
- Zika virus can be spread by a man to his sex partners.
The virus can survive in semen longer than in blood.
Fact 9: “Still largely unknown”
- The mechanism of viral infection yet to be discovered.
Fact 10: Global incidence of Zika?
- Many scientists suggest global warming as a reason for transmission of virus to low temperature countries. Rise in temperature favors the survival of mosquitoes, the vector of Zika virus.