Fear has a new name and this time, it even has wings. This new terror is called the Zika Virus. Despite the news related to the virus hitting the headlines almost every day, many of us might not even know what the virus is all about. The disease is spreading rapidly causing serious health concerns. It is high time that everyone should be aware of the virus and how deadly its effect could be.
What is Zika Virus?
The Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted disease, spread by the Aedes genus. Such type of mosquito is called Aedes aegypti. It has distinctive white markings on its body and is a very effective disease carrier. It can prove to be dangerous for newborns, fetuses and older adults, though it can also carry risks for adults and children.
Some of the other primary diseases that are caused by the Aedes aegypti are dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya.
Zika Virus Infection Symptoms
Regarded as a silent infection, the Zika virus is hard to diagnose. Most people who are infected by the virus may not be even aware of it.
However, there are certain symptoms that a patient might experience. They are –
- Cutaneous Maculopapular skin rash.
- Low grade fever, having a body temperature of 37.8˚C – 38.5˚C.
- Athraljia or joint pains of hands and feet. This is can be accompanied with swollen joint paints.
- Mialgia or muscle pain.
- Retro-ocular headaches.
- Conjunctivitis or red eyes.
- Frequent post-infection asthenia.
- Digestive problems (which includes abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea).
- Mucous membrane ulcerations or aphthae.
- Pruritus or severe itching of the skin.
The symptoms caused are mild and have been observed to occur within two to seven days after the mosquito bite. It usually lasts only for a few days or a week.
Prevention Tips from Zika Virus
However, prevention is the key solution to fighting back the deadly virus. Here are some quick tips for you so that you can take first-aid-action and protect yourself and your family:
1. Keep Your Surroundings Clean
Mosquitoes belonging to the Aedes aegypti type are said to breed in places where there stagnated water bodies. This could be a pool of water of any size. It could be your outdoor gardening pots, the rain-filled tree cavities or even as little as the size of a bottle cap.
Keep your yard well-maintained and clean – which includes systematic mowing of grasses and trimming of bushes and preventing water stagnation anywhere.
2. Put Window Screens
Ensure to have screens on your windows and your doors. Repair any cracked openings or punctures so that mosquitoes do not find a way in. Keeping your house air conditioned can also help. Wear protective clothes that are fully covered and ensure using mosquito repellents.
3. Bring Home an Integrated Pest Management
This is an essential measure that you cannot forget right now. An integrated pest management can bring you various measures and tools that will help to eliminate adult mosquitoes and their breeding sites.
4. Use Mosquito Traps
To make a home-made mosquito trap, first cut a bottle in half. Next add some brown sugar and mix it well. When the mixture cools down, empty the solution in the other half of the bottle. Add yeast to it. Now put the funnel part upside down into the other half of the bottle and wrap it with a black tape. Keep the top uncovered when you place it in a mosquito prone area. Make sure you change the solution after every two week.
5. Burn Some Camphor Around
Close all your doors and windows first. Then, light camphor and leave it in your room for half-an-hour. When you will return to your room, you will find no trace of mosquito.
6. Sprinkle Coffee Ground
Sprinkle some coffee ground in places around your house where there is stagnant water. This will force the mosquito eggs present in the water to come to the surface. Lack of Oxygen will kill them before they are hatched and will prevent from breeding.
7. Use Citronella Oil
Mosquitoes dislike coming near Citronella oil. You can try applying some on your body. They act as mosquito repellent agents. You can also use candles that are made with Citronella oil. When burnt they release aroma that keeps mosquitoes at bay. Place these candles in different places around your house. The smoke in the air will drive mosquitoes away.
8. Spray Mint Extracts
Mint gives out a strong odor, which is loathed by mosquitoes. Pour some mind oil or mint extract and spray it around the house. You can even apply some on your body. Try growing some mint shrubs if you have a garden.
Zika virus is spreading explosively all over the world. Though mild, it can even lead to serious consequences when detected. The virus has been detected with a kind of health condition (Microcephaly), where babies are born with abnormal head sizes. It prevents the brain to fully develop. Besides, the syndrome is said to cause temporary paralysis and genetic abnormalities. It can even lead to miscarriages. Would-be-mothers should pay more attention to the above prevention tips in order to prevent any kind of mosquito bites. It’s also advised that pregnant women should try to avoid travelling in any Zika virus affected area.
However, do not fear. Knowing how to tackle the moment of crisis is your first-aid to prevention and a secured life.