Zika Virus in Kerala: How Does It Spread? What Are the Symptoms?

Even as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Kerala, at least 13 cases of Zika virus infections have been suspected.

2 min read
Hindi Female

Even as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Kerala, at least 13 cases of Zika virus infections have been suspected in the state, confirmed state Health Minister Veena George.

A 24-year-old pregnant women from Parassala, who was first detected with the virus, is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.

How does Zika virus spread? What are the symptoms? Here's all you need to know.


What is Zika? How does it spread?

The Zika virus spreads by the bite of an Aedes species mosquito. The Aedes is the kind of mosquito that bites during the day and is responsible for transmitting dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those infected with the Zika virus can also transmit the disease to their sexual partners.


What are the symptoms of Zika virus?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most people with Zika virus do not develop any symptoms. Only one in five people are likely to show symptoms, studies say. However, if they do, the symptoms are expected to last 2-7 days.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Fever

  • Rash

  • Conjunctivitis

  • Muscle and joint pain

  • Headache


Does a person need hospitalisation?

Deaths remain rare and most people do not require hospitalisation.

How is Zika virus treated?

According to the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no specific medicine for Zika virus.

Those infected are treated for symptoms.

Advised plenty of rest.

Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.

If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.


Is this a new virus?

No. The virus itself has been around for decades, but it came into prominence when there was an increase in the number of babies in south and central America who were born with a small skull. This condition is called microcephaly, reported FIT.

Does Zika virus affected pregnant women differently?

The virus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her foetus – resulting in the infant being born with microcephaly and other congenital malformations. It is also associated with other complications of pregnancy including preterm birth and miscarriage.

Is there a vaccine for Zika virus?

There are no approved vaccines. However, trials are underway – especially for a vaccine that uses similar technology as the Oxford-AstraZeneca one.

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