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The nation has been battling the deadly COVID-19 pandemic for the last two years nearly, while another virus, namely Zika, is affecting people, raising concerns among people. Earlier this year, 14 cases of Zika virus were identified in Kerala after which all districts of the state were put on high alert. Now, Uttar Pradesh has reported its first case of the Zika virus. 

What is the Zika virus?

The virus was first identified in monkeys of Uganda in 1947 and the first case in humans was found in 1952. Zika virus spreads through infected mosquitoes, and people who live in or travel to areas with active Zika transmission are most vulnerable to it.

How Zika virus spreads?

The virus spreads through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito while human-to-human transmission can be through sexual contact too. A pregnant woman infected with the virus can also transfer the virus to her fetus or through blood transfusion.

Symptoms

The symptoms include flu-like fever, headache, joint pain, rashes, muscle pain, conjunctivitis, and red-eye. Deaths due to Zika virus infection are uncommon, as per the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC) deaths due to Zika are uncommon. However, patients in very severe cases require hospitalization.  

Zika’s effect on pregnant women

The infection in pregnant women can increase the chance of birth defects while it can other neurodevelopmental problems in the unborn baby.

Prevention

One can avoid traveling to Zika contaminated areas, and if traveling, it is ideal to use mosquito repellents at all times and avoid sexual contact with an infected partner.

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Courtesy – www.dnaindia.com

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