Published On : Thu, Feb 4th, 2016

ZIKA virus terror: a public health emergency of international concern!!!

Zika Virus (2)Nagpur: ZIKA virus has spread terror in the whole world. It spreads by bite of infected  Aedes aegypti mosquitoes which are active during the day. This virus is a member of Flaviviradae virus family. This Virus are a known pathogenic organism since the 1950s, from Africa to Asia within the equatorial belt. It is known as the Zika fever, Zika or Zika disease. The outbreak of Zika, reaching epidemic levels last year from Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, and South America, to French Polynesia and spread eastward across the Pacific Ocean.

It came to be regarded as dangerous infection when in December 2015 the suspicion rose  that there is trans-placental spread from mother to fetus causing Microcephaly and severe brain damage. The vault remains partially developed and today the virus affected women giving birth to babies whose brains are not fully developed and so cause for sudden death in newborns. Latin America and the Caribbean there are 21 countries in which the virus has spread deep concerns. Brazil is the most affected by this virus.

WHO recommends to avoid mosquito bites, keeping entire body covered and wear light-colored clothes. To prevent the breeding of mosquitoes around your home clear all empty pots, buckets, clogged drain in cooler etc. To prevent the spread of the ZIKA virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has begun preparations. The organization has formed an emergency action team. According to the BBC, this team will discuss tentative measures that can prevent spread of virus infection.

Zika Virus (4)Symptoms of the disease:

– Only 1 in 5 infected people get sick from the virus,
– Common symptoms of fever, maculo-papular rashes, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes),
– Other symptoms include muscle pains, malaise and headache.
– The incubation period of the disease is unknown, but is likely to be a week or a few days.
– Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for a few days, but in some cases can be found for a longer  time.
– Serious illness that requires hospitalization is uncommon.
– The mortality are sparse.
– Gullian-Barre syndrome and other neurologic diseases might be complications of the viral illness.

Treatment:
– There is no vaccine or medication to prevent or treat infection for ZICA virus.
–  Symptomatic treatment,
– Get plenty of rest,
– Use of plenty of fluids to prevent Dehydration
– Fever and pain medications such as acetaminophen for relieve from symptoms. Ibuprofen and naproxen (NSAIDs) to be avoided. Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs until confirming the absence of dengue. In order to reduce the risk of Dengue induced Hemorrhages
– If you are taking medications for any other medical condition, then talk to your healthcare provider before taking any additional medications,
– If there is no improvement in the health then it should be evaluated by a doctor immediately.
– Protection from mosquitoes.

Zika Virus (3)Vaccine development:

Effective vaccines exist for many Flavi-viruses. Dengue fever vaccine has recently become available for use. The yellow fever virus, Japanese encephalitis vaccine were introduced in the early 1930s. To develop a vaccine for Zika virus there has been a kick start in the process of research and development, to get approvals of the regulators could take 10 to 12 years for effective public use of vaccines.

Zika Virus (5)Genetically Mutated (G.M.) mosquito: ‘DIAMONDS CUT DIAMONDS’

G.M. mosquito may be the panacea to combat the epidemic. ZICA has become synonymous with terror in the world and in order to eliminate the vector mosquito Aedes Aegypti, scientists are going to prepare  lines of millions of genetically modified (G.M.) male mosquitoes by preparing in the lab and releasing in the air for breeding. Zika Virus (6)Leaving the Aedes aegypti such genes which will help propagate the new breed in the short lifespan. Oxitec company is creating lines a genetically modified mosquito starting from their eggs. Adding mutations in the genes for desired results and to help in prevention of disease. Zika VirusThe use of this approach is a subject of fiery debate, on the other hand, the mutations and discovery of the golden glimmer has certainly risen hopes for a safer tomorrow.

By: Dr. Rajan Pandey
M.B.B.S., M.D. Radio-Diagnosis(schol.),
an avid wanderlust blogger, an aspiring columnist and a social reformist
Twitter: @rajanpandey001