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UP Reports 1st Case of Zika Virus: What to Know

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The first case of Zika virus in Uttar Pradesh has been confirmed in Kanpur.

The patient is a 57 year old employee of the Air Force station, and that he has been admitted to Air force Hospital, reported IANS.

The patient who was admitted ar the Air force Hospital had persistent high fever for days, when the hospital management decided to send his blood samples to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune for examination where it was confirmed to be a Zika virus infection.

Those who have been in contact with the patient and are presenting similar symptoms have been quarantined in their homes.

The blood samples of around 200 such people have been sent to NIV Pune for screening, reported Times of India.

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What is Zika Virus Infection?

Here is a quick FAQ to get you up to speed on everything you need to know about the Zika virus and how to protect yourselves against it.

How does the Zika Virus spread?

A person is infected with Zika when they are bitten by an infected Aedes genus mosquito.

These mosquitos are also known to be the carriers of chikungunya and dengue infections.

Apart from mosquito bites, the infection can spread through bodily fluids including blood and semen, and can also be passed on from a pregnant woman to the fetus.

How long can this virus live in the body?

When infected, the Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for up to a week.

What are the symptoms to look out for?

Typical symptoms of Zika include,

  • High Fever

  • Body rash

  • Joint pain

  • Redness in the eyes

Symptoms usually start appearing 2 to 7 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.

It is also important to note that most infected people will not need to be admitted to the hospital, and the possibility of death from this virus is negligible.

What is the treatment for Zika?

There is no specific medicine or treatment for this virus.

Doctors recommend rest, and symptomatic treatment.

Keep yourself hydrated, and medicines like paracetamol may be taken to bring down fever and reduce pain.

Is there a vaccine for Zika virus?

While there are several vaccine candidates for Zika in the pipelines, at various stages of research, none have cleared clinical trials and entered the market yet.

How can I protect myself from Zika virus?

Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by wearing fully covered clothes, and applying mosquito repellents, especially in the monsoon to winter months of September to November, when they thrive.

Avoid standing around near water logged areas like puddles and drains.

The US CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) also advices against touching blood or body fluids without wearing protective gloves. If you do get some on your clothes, remove and wash them immediately.

Maintain hand hygiene and wash them with water and soap frequently.

(Written with inputs from IANS and Times of India.)

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