Zika virus transmission and symptoms explained

Recent research has found that a single mutation could make the Zika virus much more contagious and dangerous. Here’s what you need to know about the mosquito-borne disease, including how it’s transmitted and its symptoms

Mosquito bite in a person's leg
According to a new study, the Zika virus could become dangerous if it mutates

Researchers have warned an explosive eruption could occur zika virus when there is a single new mutation of the disease.

Laboratory experiments have revealed that a potential new variant of the mosquito-borne Zika virus could be more dangerous and contagious – although no evidence of a new mutation has surfaced yet.

A mutation of the virus that previously a worldwide medical emergency 2016 could even reach countries that have built up immunity to it after previous outbreaks, they said La Jolla Institute of Immunology ‘s new study.

As scientists across the US urge the world to keep an eye out for new Zika mutations, here’s what you need to know about transmission: its symptoms and treatment.

How is the Zika virus transmitted?

The Zika virus is transmitted through mosquito bites, but also through sexual contact and blood transfusions


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Zika virus, which is similar to dengue fever, is transmitted primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, usually Aedes aegypti.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these mosquitoes usually bite during the day, with peaks in the early morning and late afternoon or evening.

In addition to being transmitted through mosquito bites, the Zika virus can also be transmitted through sexual contact, blood transfusions, or infected organ transplants.

What are the symptoms of Zika?

Many people who are infected with the Zika virus usually have no or only mild symptoms. These symptoms include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache.

After exposure, Zika symptoms typically appear between three and 14 days, according to the WHO. Symptoms usually last two to seven days.

Those who contract Zika are usually not sick enough to be hospitalized and rarely die from the virus. They may also be protected from future infection once infected.

Who is at risk from the Zika virus?

The Zika virus is dangerous for pregnant women and their babies



Zika infections in women during pregnancy are dangerous because they can cause birth defects of the brain, such as microcephaly, in the baby. The virus is also linked to other problems such as miscarriage, stillbirth, and other birth defects.

The WHO has also warned that there are increasing reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome, which affects the nervous system, in parts of the world affected by Zika.

How to prevent the Zika virus

There is currently no vaccine or drug to prevent Zika. The best way to avoid infection is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.

If you get Zika, make sure you get plenty of rest and drink fluids to avoid dehydration. In terms of medications, you can take medications like acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain.

The CDC does not recommend taking aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs until your doctor has ruled out dengue to reduce the risk of bleeding. So if you are taking these medications for any other health condition, consult your doctor.

If you have Zika, reduce your risk of transmission by using condoms and dental dams, or by avoiding sex until you recover.

You should also check the government website for Zika risk assessments of different countries before you travel.

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Fry Electronics Team

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