Zika Virus – Beware of Mosquitoes, again!

Zika is a mosquito borne virus. It is transmitted mostly by the bite of Aedes aegypti mosquito which also spreads dengue and chikungunya viruses. Symptoms include fever, rash, conjunctivitis and mild fever. Incubation period is 2-7 days after the bite of infected mosquito. One out of four people will develop symptoms of the disease.

carrier for dengue, chikungunya, zika viruses
Source: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

The virus causes no more than mild illness in people. But there is mounting evidence from Brazil suggesting infection in pregnant women is linked to babies born with abnormally small head (a birth defect called microcephaly). Pregnant women traveling to affected areas (mostly the Americas) should be careful – they are advised to avoid travel and to take necessary precautions. According to doctors, the mosquito borne disease is a cause of concern in India. It is described in the scientific community as a cousin of India’s endemic dengue virus; it is considered Indians have developed a passive immunity to this infection. The traces of this virus were seen only in 1952-53. India is keeping a close watch on the situation, as India offers a favourable climate for virus to breed but as of now no Zika virus case has been reported in the country.


  • There is no specific drug for the treatment for Zika virus and neither there is a vaccine.
  • Avoid allowing standing water (stagnant water) in your surroundings so that they do not become mosquito breeding sites
  • Close water tanks
  • Use plastic bags for garbage and keep it in a closed container
  • Use mosquito screens and net for windows and doors to prevent contact between mosquitoes and people.
People who are staying in affected areas, travellers and pregnant women should take following precautions
  • Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants, cover your whole body to avoid mosquito bite.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and/or windows and doors with screens to prevent contact with mosquitoes.
  • Use mosquito bed-net while sleeping
  • Use repellents
  • People with symptoms should take rest and intake plenty of water.