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Zika Virus Symptoms in Adults, Babies, Brain Infection, Prevention Tips

( [email protected] ) Mar 11, 2016 01:29 PM EST
Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, is now causing worldwide concern because of its harmful effects on babies and pregnant women. Health experts are now finding solution to treat the disease and prevent possible outbreak. So far, the virus has been spread over at least 24 countries around the world
Geovane Silva holds his son Gustavo Henrique, who has microcephaly, at the Oswaldo Cruz Hospital in Recife, Brazil, January 26, 2016. (Image credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino) REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, is now causing worldwide concern because of its harmful effects on babies and pregnant women. Health experts are now finding solution to treat the disease and prevent possible outbreak. So far, the virus has been spread over at least 24 countries around the world.

Here's the latest information about how to detect Zika virus disease and how to treat it.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus as an international health concern because of its alarming connection to a neurological birth disorder. Estimates show more than four millions could be infected by the end of 2016.  Pregnant women are advised to avoid traveling to countries that are currently experiencing outbreak.

Economic Times said Brazil has the highest number of people affected by the Zika virus. It is also reported that pregnant women who have been to affected regions should be tested to prevent outbreak. 

The Zika virus is being linked to the development of unusually small heads and brain damage in newborns. The virus primarily spread through the bites of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The other disease spread by this mosquito species is meningoencephalitis.

Meningoencephalitis is a serious condition that directly affects person's brain, spinal cord and its linings. "Zika is being linked to this condition is a very serious matter and adds to the growing evidence of the full-spectrum of disease this virus can cause," Amesh Adalja from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center told in USA Today.

Symptoms and Treatment

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend a particular antiviral treatment to cure Zika virus. Health experts usually require people to rest and have proper nourishment.  Some doctors also recommend pain and fever reliever like acetaminophen or paracetamol.

The common symptoms of the virus are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes.

As of now, there is no vaccine against the virus. Scientists are still developing and testing a vaccine to combat the disease. Washington Post said the vaccine could take years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make.

Because it is impossible to completely prevent mosquito bites, CDC advises people to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and put insect repellent at all times to prevent mosquito bites. Moreover, pregnant women must avoid going to regions where Zika is being transmitted.

In the US Territories, the transmission of Zika has been reported in the regions of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and America Samo. 

Tags : World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, How to Prevent Zika virus, Zika virus, meningoencephalitis.