One of the key words despondently searched on Google currently is ‘Zika’. Nearly about 15 countries are affected by it and currently, it has reached Tamil Nadu too. A 27-year old man from Natrampalli of Krishnagiri district is found to have infected with zika virus. Four others from the same place are feared to have affected by the virus.
Already there is fear about the recurrence of dengue fever and now the fear of zika fuels it further. There are efforts already being made to treat the affected patients through medical camps and also measures to prevent its occurrence and spread. Let us comprehensively look at the details of what this zika virus is, how it spreads out, its symptoms of afflictions and measures of treatments.
Zika virus is spread through Aedes species of mosquitoes. It is the same mosquitoes that cause dengue fever. These mosquitoes live in fresh waters. They nearly inflict equal impact as that of dengue virus. They act as vectors, transferring the virus they are carrying within them when they bite us to suck out blood. They bite us during the day time too.
Symptoms of zika virus infection
Back pain, eye pain, fever, hip pain, vomiting and jaundice are the symptoms of its afflictions. The signs and symptoms are similar to dengue fever. If the symptoms continue for more than four or five days it is recommended to visit the doctor nearby.
Keep our surroundings clean and hygienic, not only the house and office premises
It is important that the water we drink is clean and hygienic
Do not allow water to stagnate inside or outside the houses. This is because these kinds of mosquitoes breed and lay eggs only in freshwater sources. They thrive only in fresh waters. Ensure that the flower pots, tyres, coconut shells and other container-like items kept open are not holding water. The defrost water collected at the back of the refrigerators are to be drained periodically. Keep the water tanks covered. At least weekly once the water tanks are disinfected and cleaned.
There is no threat to life with regard to zika virus. But there will be severe fever and extreme muscle pain. Eye sight will be affected. There are only vaccinations against zika virus. Strictly antibiotics should not be taken in. Prevention is the immediate solution, the best at present.
We discussed with Dr. Sundararaman about zika virus, as follows:
“Long ago, children in America and Mexico were born with mental disabilities. That is termed as microcephaly where the brain size would be smaller than usual because of limited brain growth and hence the size of the head would also be smaller. When the cause of mental disability among the new born was investigated it was found out that the children are affected while their mothers were infected with zika virus during pregnancy, leading to smaller brain size and head. There are many other unknown diseases that are spread by Aedes mosquitoes. There are no medicines to treat those diseases but preventive measures are the only answers.
We enquired about the implications of zika infection that Tamil Nadu is currently facing to Dr. Kulandhaisamy, Director of Public Health Department.
“Research investigations found out that as vectors Aedes mosquitoes will spread chikungunya, yellow fever, dengue and zika viruses. It was informed that zika viruses have spread to Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. The only solution to protect us from zika virus is to keep the surroundings clean and hygienic, the best preventive measure to adopt. One can contact 104 to learn more about zika virus or to give a complaint about its incidence in the neighborhood. It is a 24-hour service. There are medical camps and also awareness programs organized at all airports of Tamil Nadu”. Dr. Kulandhaisamy concluded.
(This article originally written in Tamil by Mohanapriya has been reproduced in English by V Amalan Stanley)