Zika virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito from the Aedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti in tropical regions.
Mosquitoes that spread Zika bite aggressively during the day.
This is the same mosquito that transmits Dengue and Chikungunya.
Signs and Symptoms
Common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, or conjuctivitis.
Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, pain behind the eyes, and vomiting.
The illness is usually mind with symptoms lasting for 2-7 days.
The baby inside the womb of a pregnant mother may develop abnormality in the size of its head due to incomplete brain development called microcephaly.
Prevention and Treatment
- Avoid infection by preventing mosquito bites.
- Use insect repellants.
- Use window and door screens.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants or permethrin-treated clothing.
- Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, or trash containers.
The Department of Health (DOH) has earlier reminded the public to remember and use ‘4S’ against Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. 4S stands for Search & destroy mosquito breeding places, use Self-protection measures, Seek early consultation for fever lasting more than 2 days, and Say yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak.
In the Philippines, a documented case of Zika virus infection was traced in Cebu City in 2012. A 15 year old boy was reported with symptoms of fever, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, muscle pain, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. The said patient recovered fully after 3 weeks of continuous bed rest and medication. After yielding negative from tests on dengue and Chikungunya, the patient’s serum was tested positive for Zika Virus.
People sick with Zika virus should get plenty of rest, drink enough fluids, and treat pain and fever with common medicines.
If symptoms worsen, they should seek medical and advice immediately to the nearest health facility.