The Zika virus is a virus transmitted through mosquito bites. People with Zika virus infection usually do not experience symptoms or only feel mild symptoms.
The virus was first discovered in a monkey in the Zika Forest, Uganda, in 1947. In 1952, the first humans were found to be infected with the Zika virus in Uganda and the Republic of Tanzania.
The Zika virus belongs to the flavivirus group, which is the same family of viruses as the virus that causes dengue fever and Chikungunya.
Zika Virus Origin: Name, Year, and Animal
Zika Virus Causes
The Zika virus is transmitted through the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The same species of mosquitoes as the mosquito species that transmits dengue fever and Chikungunya.
These mosquitoes are active during the day and live and breed in areas where there are puddles. The process of transmission begins when the mosquito sucks blood from an infected person, then transmits the virus to others through bites.
In addition to mosquito bites, the Zika virus can be transmitted through blood transfusions and se**x. The virus can also be passed down from the pregnant woman to the fetus in the womb.
Zika virus can be found in breast milk, but there have been no reports of Zika virus transmission through the breastfeeding process. Therefore, mothers who are breastfeeding are generally recommended to keep breastfeeding their baby even if the mother has been infected, stayed, or traveled to areas prone to virus transmission.
Zika Virus Risk Factors
There are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of Zika virus, among others:
- Unsafe inter**course.
- Visit infected countries, mostly in Central, South America, and Oceania.
Zika Virus Symptoms
The symptoms of Zika disease can resemble symptoms of dengue and Chikungunya, and can last several days to a week.
In addition to the common symptoms above, other symptoms of the Zika virus found are headache, pain behind the eyes, and fatigue. These symptoms are generally mild and last up to about a week.
Zika Virus Diagnosis Test
To diagnose the Zika virus, the doctor will ask about the health history and symptoms felt by a person. The doctor will also ask if he had ever visited an infected country and what activities are carried out. This is done to help narrow the diagnosis because the symptoms of the Zika virus are quite similar to other diseases, such as dengue and Chikungunya.
Blood and urine tests will also be carried out. For pregnant women, the doctor may perform any follow-up examinations, such as:
- Pregnancy ultrasound to detect microcephaly or other brain abnormalities in the fetus.
- Amniocentesis is carried out by inserting a perforated needle into the uterus to take a sample of amniotic fluid. This procedure is carried out to detect whether there is Zika virus in it or not.
Zika Virus Treatment
Treatment of the Zika virus is focused on reducing the symptoms felt by patients because vaccines as well as cure drugs for the disease have not been found.
Treatment of the symptoms can be fluid administered to prevent dehydration, pain relievers to relieve fever and headache, and adequate rest.
The use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are not recommended before the possibility of patients getting dengue can be eliminated.
Patients who have been infected with the Zika virus are expected to avoid mosquito bites during contracting the virus because the Zika virus that can last a long time in the blood of the sufferer can spread to others through mosquito bites.
How to avoid the Zika virus
There is no vaccine yet that can prevent the Zika virus. Using DEET-containing insect repellent (which protects against mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus) can help, as can taking precautions, such as wearing long-sleeved clothing, trousers, and installing mosquito net or gauze on windows.