Is zika virus deadly?

The question is, whether Zika virus deadly for adults? Pregnant women and their partners who live in the areas or must travel to them should avoid mosquito bites.

Scientists warn about the possibility of a pandemic because the infection is spreading at lightning speed.

An epidemic of Zika virus, which affects pregnant women and their future children, may soon encompass the whole world.

To calm people down, the well-known experts explain, whether we should be afraid of this virus and whether it is possible to protect ourselves from it.

Scientific opinion was published by Aljazeera.


READ ALSO: Can Zika virus cause brain defects?

What is Zika virus?

The Zika virus is a virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes. The virus is associated with dengue fever, yellow fever, and West Nile virus. Symptoms of Zika virus appear in the lungs. They include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis.

Is Zika virus deadly?

Usually, it is impossible to die from the Zika virus. Hospitalization is also a rare phenomenon. Zika virus is not deadly for adults.


How does it spread?

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes of the genus Aedes. A pregnant woman can pass the virus to her child during pregnancy. So far there are no reports of transmission of the virus through breastfeeding. However, in some cases, the Zika virus was transmitted through blood transfusion and sexual contact.

Zika virus spreads like wildfire across the planet in the month, the area of infection grows.


In what areas was Zika virus spread?

The latest outbreak of the Zika virus cases has been in 23 countries such as the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Before flash, Zika virus was in Gabon, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire, the Central African Republic, Cambodia, Malaysia, Micronesia, Pakistan, India, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.

How has Zika virus got to Brazil?

Probably, Zika virus was in Brazil through the world Cup VA'a World Sprints, held there in August 2014. Athletes came from French Polynesia, New Caledonia, the Cook Islands and Easter Island. There is also a suggestion that the Zika virus was brought by Asian tourists who visited the championship.

How to diagnose the Zike virus?

In the first week of infection, the blood should be sent to the laboratory.

Zika virus can be detected by recent molecular testing of the active virus present in the body for seven days. A quick test allows you to check immunity.


How to treat the Zika virus?

Currently, there is no cure or vaccine for the virus. Therefore, treatment typically focuses on relieving the symptoms.

Is there a vaccine?

Theoretically, the creation of a vaccine is possible. However, testing and trials of the drug on the efficiency will take years and will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Many pharmaceutical companies, including Inovio, Hawaii Biotech, GSK, and Sanofi are developing or planning to work on a vaccine against the virus, Zika.

What is microcephaly and how it is connected with the Zika virus? Microcephaly is a congenital defect characterized by incomplete development of the brain and unnaturally small head.

Currently, there is no curative treatment for the symptoms - seizures, delayed development, and problems with thinking. Microcephaly is usually a rare disease. In the United States, as a rule happens from 2 to 12 cases per 10 thousand births. Most of the cases are spread in Brazil. Microcephaly there is 1% of all births.

The researchers suggest that there is a connection between the place and the time of the outbreak of the Zike virus and increased incidence of microcephaly. However, there is still no evidence that the virus causes congenital disabilities.

Why a potential link between the Zika virus and congenital defects were not investigated before?

In parts of Central Africa and Asia, where the Zika virus was prevalent for decades, most people become infected at an early age.

Therefore, the risk of infection during pregnancy is very low. Still, the population of the U.S. had contact with the virus. It means that the majority of women during pregnancy were first infected. And it increases the risk of having children with defects. That is why they now suggest women avoid pregnancy.


Can genetically modified mosquitoes stop the virus?

British biotechnological company has created a genetically modified mosquito species Aedes Aegypti by introducing two genes in their DNA. Thanks to one of them, mosquito larvae glow under ultraviolet light. According to scientists, this will help to identify the insects that carry the infection. Another gene promotes the death of all offspring of a mosquito. The introduction of genetically modified mosquitoes in the contaminated area will help to reduce transmission of the Zika virus, up to 80%.

On January 25, the world health organization warned that the Zika virus would apply to all the countries of North and South America, except Canada and Chile.

Once in 2015, from Africa and Asia to South America, it quickly spread across the continent. Infection occurs through mosquito bites. It is unclear if the pathogen is transmitted from person to person through sexual contact.

Zika virus caused brain damage in thousands of babies in Brazil. Vaccines for the prevention or treatment of the Zika virus does not exist. The disease causes mild fever and rash.

Most outbreaks of the disease were registered in Asia, Africa, South and North America, and the Pacific. The virus is also recorded in several European such as Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, UK, Portugal and the Netherlands.

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