Zika virus is a flavivirus, carried by mosquitoes, which was first discovered in 1947 in Uganda in rhesus due to network monitoring of yellow fever. Then, in 1952, the virus was detected in humans in the United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda. Outbreaks, which were caused by virus Zika, were registered in Africa, Asia, the Americas and also the Pacific. Zika virus diagnosis has become a very important topic in these countries.
During 1960-1980 the cases of human infection usually were mild. They were identified in Africa and Asia. The first huge outbreak of illness caused by a virus Zika was registered on the island of Yap (Federated States of Micronesia) in 2007. In July 2015, Brazil reported a link between viral infection Zika and Guillain-Barré syndrome. In October 2015, Brazil reported a link between viral infection Zika and microcephaly. Key facts The virus causing Zika disease is carried by Aedes mosquitoes.
Symptoms of illness, caused by a Zika virus, may include a slight fever, conjunctivitis, skin rash, pain in muscles and joints, malaise and also headache. Such symptoms usually persist for 2-7 days. The scientific community has a consensus that Zika virus causes Guillain-Barre syndrome and microcephaly. We also study its relation to other neurological complications.
If any of the symptoms began to be observed, you should definitely consult a doctor for a thorough diagnosis. Clinical signs of Zika virus include:
? minor headaches;
? itchy macular or papular skin rash (first rash appears on the face and then spreads all over the body);
? pain in the muscles and joints with possible swelling of the small joints;
? congestion and inflammation of the conjunctiva (conjunctivitis);
? pain in the eyes of the orbits; ? intolerance of bright light.
If the disease is carried by a pregnant woman, in connection with the penetration of the virus into the body of developing fetus, its defects start developing, they include microcephaly – a child is born with decreased brain mass and reduced skull.
Such a state is accompanied by a delay in mental development of the child, followed by imbecility or idiocy. According to the adults (after the previous infection), there were reported isolated cases of the hyena-Barre syndrome, which was the formation of an autoimmune process with severe muscle weakness (myasthenia gravis).
Usually, the syndrome manifestations disappear spontaneously without residual effects. Diagnosis of Zika virus Since the disease, caused by a virus Zika is mild, in some cases, even imperceptibly, the diagnosis is carried out only if the confirmed outbreak of the disease or the patient has returned from the region with an increased risk of infection.
You cannot suspect the disease yourself, as Zika virus does not cause specific symptoms or signs. Zika virus diagnosis test may be performed after the patients applying, but it doesn’t happen often. Diagnosis is carried out in vitro by polymerase chain reaction or PCR, and by detection of the virus in the patient’s blood samples. Differential diagnosis of Zika virus is carried out in order to exclude the presence of dengue fever, West Nile virus, and yellow fever. Why should we hurry up to get the diagnosis and what is the danger of virus Zika?
WHO projections concerning the Zika disease are disappointing: they expect a gradual spread of the disease throughout the Americas. In this regard, the global medical community, in particular, the WHO and PAHO (Pan American Health Organization), has started working actively on the implementation of laboratory diagnostics and strengthening surveillance of the infection in countries, where the outbreaks of disease have already been noticed.
Zika fever (this is referred to as a disease caused by the virus) is usually quite easy to carry by a patient. The symptoms persist for a maximum of 7 days. That means that the disease itself is not particularly dangerous to humans, but it can leave behind the rather serious consequences. The biggest risk is experienced by the pregnant women, as according to the assumptions of scientists, Zika virus can cause the serious malformation of the fetus – microcephaly.
Because of this disease, the baby is born with a disproportionately small head and reduced brain size. In future, the child can have various psychomotor disturbances. In addition, there is a link between infection and the development of Zika virus autoimmune neurological diseases, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, which is manifested in flaccid paresis, vegetative disorders, etc.
Studies on the effects and complications of the disease Zika go on and on, so to say definitely that a pregnant woman will bear a sick child in the case of infection with the virus, while other patients will experience autoimmune disorders, is impossible.
Preventing Zika virus According to the specifics of the causes of the spread of the virus Zika (mosquitoes called Aedes), the main and most reliable way to prevent infection is to avoid visiting countries and regions, where such cases of the disease, caused by a virus Zika, have already been confirmed.
People, who are staying in hazardous areas and are at particular risk of infection, are recommended to use repellents (sprays, ointments, etc. Products containing chemicals that repel insects, particularly mosquitoes). Also, they should wear light colored clothing, covering the body as much as possible, use a grid for doors and windows, and mosquito curtains. In the regions covered by Zika virus outbreak, according to the order of the local authorities or the WHO guidelines, people can spray insecticides to reduce the mosquito population. People should use larvicides near ponds in order to destroy the larvae and caterpillars of potentially dangerous insects. As for the specific Zika virus prevention, it has not been developed to date.
However, there is the assurance of scientists and the world’s pharmaceutical giants that until the end of 2016 they will be ready to present Zika virus vaccine. The development involved the University of Laval (Canada), University of Pennsylvania (USA), the company Inovio Pharmaceuticals (USA) and GeneOne Life Science (South Korea). Zika fever cases were reported in 27 countries in the Western Hemisphere, particularly in Brazil (more than half a million cases), Puerto Rico, United States, Argentina, and so on. WHO does not recommend creating any restrictions on travel to these countries right now. However, pregnant women (unless there is a strong need) should better refrain from visits to South and North America, as well as to the Pacific region. If there are any questions regarding the spread of the disease Zika in a particular country, please contact the health authorities and the tourism organizations of the state.
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