Zika Virus: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Know that there is no specific treatment for zika virus.

2 min read

According to US NIH, the Zika virus is predominantly affecting the people of tropical and subtropical areas of the world. It is often spread to people through mosquito bites and most people affected by the Zika virus have no signs or symptoms.

In rare cases, the Zika virus may cause complications related to the brain or nervous system like Guillain-Barre syndrome. If pregnant women suffer from the virus, their risk of having a miscarriage increases. Moreover, the zika virus infection increases the risk of serious birth defects in infants.

The only way to prevent the zika virus is to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Here are other causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments of the zika virus.


Zika Virus: Symptoms

According to Cleveland Clinic, often people suffering with the Zika virus show no signs or symptoms. If a person is affected by the zika virus, the signs and symptoms may take 2 to 14 days to appear after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms last about a week, and most people recover fully. Signs and symptoms of the Zika virus include:

  • Mild fever

  • Rash

  • Joint pain, particularly in the hands or feet

  • Red eyes (conjunctivitis)

  • Muscle pain

  • Headache

  • Eye pain

  • Fatigue or a general feeling of discomfort

  • Abdominal pain

Zika Virus: Causes

According to doctors of Mayo Clinic, the Zika virus is most often spread to a person through the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that are known to carry the virus include two Aedes species of mosquitoes, which can be found throughout the world.

When a mosquito bites an infected person with the Zika virus, the virus infects the mosquito and when the infected mosquito bites another person, the virus enters that person's bloodstream and causes an infection. During pregnancy, the Zika virus can also spread from a mother to the fetus.

The virus can also spread through sexual contact. In a few cases, people contract the virus through blood transfusion or organ donation.

Zika Virus: Diagnosis

The medical professional may ask the infected person about their medical and travel history and whether they may have had contact with mosquitoes.

Your doctor may recommend a blood or urine test to confirm the diagnosis. The blood or urine samples can also be used to test similar mosquito-borne diseases.

If you are pregnant and at risk of Zika virus infection, your doctor may ask you to get the following tests:

  • An ultrasound to look for fetal brain problems

  • Amniocentesis is when a hollow needle is inserted into the uterus to remove a sample of amniotic fluid that is tested for zika virus.

Zika Virus: Treatment 

There is no specific treatment for infection with the Zika virus. The quick way to recover includes plenty of rest and drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. The over-the-counter (OTC) medication may help relieve joint pain and fever.

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