Zika virus, which is similar to dengue fever, yellow fever, and West Nile virus, is spread mainly through the bite of infected AEDES species mosquitoes. 

Zika virus has infected more than 60 people in Kerala, and on Saturday, Maharashtra reported that a 50-year-old woman from the Pune district tested positive for the infection. Kerala reported its first case of Zika virus in a pregnant woman on 8 July, and out of 63 current issues, three are active, and none of them is hospitalized.

Officials in Maharashtra have urged people not to panic and said that the woman diagnosed with Zika infection has completely recovered. 

How does the Zika virus spread? 

Zika virus, similar to dengue fever, yellow fever, and West Nile virus, is spread mainly through the bite of an infected AEDES species mosquitoes, primarily Aedes aegypti. According to the World Health Organization, AEDES mosquitos usually bite during the day, peaking during early morning and late afternoon or evening. 

 How is Zika transmitted?

Zika can be transmitted through mosquito bites, from a pregnant woman to her foetus, through sexual contact and transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation.

What are the symptoms of Zika? 

Many people infected with the Zika virus will not have symptoms or will only have mild ones. Symptoms generally include mild fever, pain, malaise, and headache and usually last for two to seven days. According to WHO, the incubation period or the time from exposure to symptoms of Zika virus disease is estimated to be 3 to 14 days. 

Those infected usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they rarely die. As a result, they may be protected from future Infections once infected with Zika. 

How is Zika diagnosed?

Diagnosis of Zika virus is based on symptoms of those living in or visiting areas with Zika virus transmission or AEDES vectors. A diagnosis of Zika Zika virus infection can only be confirmed by laboratory tests of blood or other body fluids, such as urine or semen, says WHO. 

How to prevent Zika ? 

There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika. The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. 

You should get plenty of rest, drink fluids to prevent dehydration, take medicine such as acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain. You should avoid taking aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and talk to your doctor. 

Is Zika risky for some people? 

WHO says that Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a congenital disability of the brain called microcephaly and other severe brain defects. It is also linked to other problems, such as miscarriage, stillbirth, and other congenital disabilities. In addition, according to WHO, there have also been increased reports of Guillain barre syndrome, which affects the nervous system in areas affected by Zika.

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