According to the BBC, a woman in Spain just gave birth to the first Zika-affected child in Europe. Zika fever is starting to spread its area of coverage further and further, the medical authorities being increasingly concerned about the phenomenon.
Up until recently, Zika fever seemed to be a problem native to the southern region of the American continent. However, now that cases have been registered in both Europe and North America, awareness should be spread.
What is Zika Fever?
Zika fever, also known as simply Zika, or Zika virus disease, is an infectious disorder caused by the ZKV virus. The illness is not lethal, but it does have catastrophic effects on pregnant women.
The virus is transmitted by mosquitos, a single contact with an infected insect being more than enough to spread the violent microorganism into the body of a human.
Zika Virus Symptoms
The mosquito virus is usually asymptomatic. However, when symptoms do appear, the illness is easily mistaken for Chikungunya or Dengue fever.
The similarity is given by the fact that the ZKV and the Dengue fever viruses are both part of the same family.
The most common Zika fever symptoms are rash, fever, joint and muscle pain, headache, and conjunctivitis. The incubation time of the virus was not precisely determined yet, but researchers believe that it takes between a couple of days to a week.
The cruelest aspect of the Zika virus is its effect on expecting women. When a woman is bitten by an infected mosquito, then she has chances of developing the symptoms mentioned above. However, if pregnant, she faces the risk of giving birth to an infant suffering from microcephaly, or the Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Zika Virus Treatment
Unfortunately, no Zika fever treatment is considered to be 100 percent efficient. For the moment, doctors treat the patients infected with the Zika fever virus with medicine that targets their symptoms, not the infection per say.
Researchers are currently working on a vaccine that will hopefully prevent the spread of the mosquito virus.
Zika Virus Facts
The first Zika outbreak was reported in Northeastern Brazil when medical officers documented a considerable increase in the number of children born with microcephaly, commonly known as small head disease.
In 2015 the number of affected infants spiked from 147 in 2014 to 2,728.
According to the Zika virus Wikipedia page, microcephaly was linked to the Zika fever only in March 2016 after Jernej Mlakar published an article in the Journal of Medicine of New England.
Zika Fever Prevention
There are a few Zika fever prevention measures that could prove to be useful in protecting you and your family.
The main idea is to steer from mosquitos. If you don’t come in contact with an infected insect, then you will not be in any danger.
Most efficient prevention measures include using insect repellant whenever going outside after dusk, opting for long pants and long-sleeved blouses, making sure there are nets at every window of the house, and getting rid of any stagnant water where mosquitos could reproduce.
Apart from the Zika threat that is slowly affecting the populations of two different continents, authorities now have to worry about a new mosquito virus that could cause even more damage than Zika fever.
Image source: 1 , 2