Zika Virus – Symptoms Cause Diagnosis Treatment

In tropical and subtropical regions, mosquito bites are a leading cause of Zika (ZEE-kuh) virus transmission. There are typically no outward manifestations of Zika virus infection. A minor temperature, rash, and muscle soreness have been reported by some patients. The Zika virus can cause serious issues in the brain and neurological system, including Guillain-Barre syndrome, in some people who never develop any outward signs of illness. Zika, Zika fever, and Zika virus sickness are various names for what happens when the Zika virus infects a person’s body.

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The risk of miscarriage is higher for women who contract the Zika virus while pregnant. However, microcephaly, a disorder of the brain that can be deadly to a newborn, is more likely to occur when a mother has a Zika virus infection during pregnancy.

Efforts are being made to develop a vaccine against the Zika virus. At this time, reducing mosquito habitats and protecting yourself from mosquito bites are your best bets for staying healthy.

Zika Virus

Symptoms of Zika Virus

Almost half of those infected with the Zika virus will show no symptoms at all. When symptoms do appear, they typically appear between two and fourteen days after the first mosquito bite. Most people feel better after a week of having symptoms.

Zika virus most usually causes these signs and symptoms:

Other symptoms may include:

  • The ache of sore muscles
  • Headache
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Tiredness or an unpleasant sensation all over
  • Stomach ache

When you should see a doctor

If you or a family member have recently returned from an area where Zika is actively spreading, medical attention is recommended. The Zika virus, along with other mosquito-borne viruses, can be detected through blood tests available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Even if you don’t feel sick, pregnant women who have recently gone to areas where the virus is prevalent may want to get tested.

Zika Virus

Causes of Zika Virus

Transmission of the Zika virus often occurs through the bite of an infected mosquito. Two mosquito species, both of the genus Aedes, are known to spread the virus and can be found in nearly every country.

The mosquito becomes infected with Zika when it bites a person who already has the virus. Next, the virus spreads from one human to another via the infected mosquito’s bite.

Furthermore, the Zika virus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her unborn child.

Sexual interaction is another mode of transmission of the virus. People can get the virus via receiving donated blood or organs.

Possible dangers

The likelihood of contracting the Zika virus increases with exposure to the following conditions:

  • Being a resident of, or a visitor to, a country experiencing an outbreak. You are more likely to contract the Zika virus if you go to or live in a tropical or subtropical region. Several Pacific islands, numerous Central, South, and North American countries, and the islands off the coast of West Africa are particularly vulnerable. Since Zika-carrying mosquitoes are widespread worldwide, the infection may spread.

In the United States, the virus has primarily affected those who have recently returned from overseas. Yet, Zika virus-carrying mosquitoes can be found in certain locations within the United States and its territories. There have been reports of local transmission in Florida, Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

  • Engaging in sexual activity without appropriate protection. Zika can spread sexually. Interaction without protection for three months after returning from a trip increases Zika virus risk. This is why it’s important for pregnant women and their sex partners to wear condoms or abstain from sexual activity until after the birth of the baby if they or their partner has recently lived in or traveled to a region where the virus is prevalent. Using a condom or waiting up to three months before engaging in sexual activity can similarly minimize the chance of sexual transmission for any other partner.

Complications About Zika Virus

Pregnant women infected with the Zika virus have a higher risk of having a miscarriage, a premature baby, or a stillborn baby.

Zika virus infection during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of significant birth abnormalities in infants (congenital Zika syndrome), including:

  • A partially collapsed skull and a brain that is significantly smaller than average (mirocephaly).
  • Damage to the brain and loss of brain tissue
  • Eye injuries
  • Loss of mobility and other joint-related issues
  • Decreased range of motion after delivery as a result of excessive muscular tone

Even in asymptomatic individuals, Zika virus infection poses a risk of developing brain or nervous system consequences such as Guillain-Barre syndrome.


The Zika virus cannot be prevented with a vaccination. But, there are measures you may do to lessen your vulnerability to the virus.

Following these guidelines may reduce your chance of contracting the virus if you or your spouse are pregnant or trying to conceive:

  • Avoid last-minute cramming and instead, properly plan your trip. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that pregnant women not visit locations where the virus is currently spreading.
  • Maintain a standard of sexual hygiene. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against sexual activity during pregnancy or the use of a condom if either partner resides in or has gone to a region experiencing a  virus outbreak.
  • Keep cool by staying in a place with air conditioning or a screen door. In addition to being active primarily between the hours of dawn and dusk, mosquitoes that spread the Zika virus are also capable of biting at night. When sleeping outside, a mosquito net may be a good idea.
  • You should always take precautions and dress appropriately for safety. It is recommending that you wear long sleeves, pants, socks, and shoes while venturing into mosquito-infested areas.
  • You should use insect repellent. Permethrin can be spray on a variety of items, including apparel, footwear, tents, and sleeping bags. Permethrin-treated garments are also commercially available.
  • Eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Virus mosquitoes breed in stagnant water in pet bowls, flower pots, and old tires in residential settings. If you want to help reduce mosquito populations, you should drain any containers containing standing water at least once a week.

Donating Blood While Having Zika

Blood transfusions can spread the (blood transfusion). To avoid Zika virus transmission through transfusion, US and territorial donation centers must test all blood donations. If you have Zika or are a U.S. resident who has traveled to a Zika-endemic location, your local blood donation center may urge you to wait four weeks.

Diagnosis of Zika Virus

You might expect questions regarding both your health and your recent travels from your doctor. Traveling with a sexual partner?

Specify the places you both visited, the dates of your excursions, and whether or not you came into touch with mosquitoes.

A blood or urine test may be recommending by your doctor if he or she thinks you may have contracted Zika. Other mosquito-borne illnesses can also be detect using blood or urine samples.

Inquire about getting test for infection if you or your partner have recently gone to a region where it is spreading and you are pregnant.

Your doctor may also suggest the following procedures if you are pregnant and at risk of infection:

  • A brain scan to rule out prenatal brain abnormalities
  • Amniocentesis is when a hollow needle is place into the uterus to remove a sample of amniotic fluid (amniocentesis) for testing for the virus.


Zika virus infection currently has no cure. Get a lot of sleep and drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration; both can help ease your symptoms. Acetaminophen, included in Tylenol and other OTC pain relievers, may help with both joint pain and fever.

Zika virus infection symptoms are comparable to those of other mosquito-borne diseases including dengue fever. See a doctor if you get sick after returning from a trip to a region where mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent. If a doctor has ruled out dengue fever, you can start taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve), or aspirin. Several drugs have been linking to an increased risk of fatal dengue fever complications.

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