Zika Virus: Quick Facts

Zika Virus (ZIKV): Mosquito borne single stranded RNA virus related to dengue virus transmitted by Aedes aegypti, and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The virus gets its name from the region where it was isolated. First isolated in 1947 from the blood of sentinel monkey in Zika forest of Uganda, East Africa.

Mode of infection: Mosquito bites

Common symptoms: Fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes (conjunctivitis)

Prognosis: Illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to one week. Cases needed hospitalization are rare. 

First Case: First infection in May 2015 in Brazil region

Vulnerable: Pregnant women need to take extra precaution since the virus has the capability to be transmitted from mother to fetus

Laboratory Testing: a) Performing reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on serum b) Serology assays to detect Zirca virus specific IgM and neutralizing antibodies typical at beginning and end of first week of infection c) Plaque-reduction neutralization testing (PRNT) can be used to detect virus specific neutralizing antibodies to differentiate from other viral infections. No commercial tests available

Prevention: a) A vaccine is available b) Use insect repellents c) Wear long sleeved shirts and pants, d) Avoid outdoors with mosquitoes

Scientists in India claim to have developed a vaccine against Zika Virus.

Important Links:

http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html

 

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