It’s with no doubt that news about zika virus was disturbing. The weight of the matter was occasioned by a warning from Centres for Disease Control and Prevention that pregnant women and those wishing to be pregnant should avoid travelling to countries where there is an outbreak of Zika virus for the sake of the unborn.
What is Zika Virus?
Surprisingly, Zika Virus is not new because its discovery dates back to 1947. Monkey with Zika virus were found in Uganda. It is an insect-borne disease and specifically caused by a bite from an infected female Aedes Mosquitoes. It has been proofed that they normally bite in early mornings or late evening.
Why the great concern about the virus?
Although it is an insect-borne disease, there are cases showing chances of the same virus being transmitted sexually. This is a red flag given its adverse effects especially on pregnant women thus the need to be extra vigilant. However, it is not contagious thus you cannot get it by physical contact with an infected person or even sharing utensils. Pregnant women, especially in their first trimester, need to be extra cautious and avoid aedes mosquito bite because the virus is transmitted to the baby and settles in the brain which leads to giving birth to a child with deformities. The most common ones are defects like kids with very small heads – a condition known as microcephaly, mental retardation and a neurological defect like
Guillain- Barre syndrome.
What are the symptoms of Zika Virus?
Although the virus is dangerous, the most common symptoms are mild and includes; headache, fever, rashes, joint and muscle pains and pink and red eyes – a condition known as conjunctivitis. The fact that symptoms can be confused with other diseases makes its detection an uphill task. To make sure there is early diagnosis, all those coming from vulnerable countries must be thoroughly screened before being allowed to integrate with the rest.
The unfortunate news is that there is no vaccine as yet to minimize chances the mosquito bites
What are the prevention measures?
Pregnant women, especially in the formative trimester, should avoid visiting the countries with the outbreak. If it is a necessary move, then they should ensure they were pants that covers all parts of their body and should always call the best local pest control company for the pest pesticide to act as a repellent.
It is also important to ensure there are no breeding grounds for mosquitoes like standing water.
Zika virus is the newest emerging issue in the medical field. As medics puts all their efforts to develop a vaccine, it is important to take caution especially for pregnant mothers to avoid affecting the unborn child.