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Do you know the keys to the zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease that causes microcephaly in newborns? The Zika virus is not new, it was already detected for the first time in 1947 in Uganda, although in recent years an increase in cases of infected people has been detected.
Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Chile or El Salvador These are some of the countries where the number of people infected by Zika virus has grown the most and, in some of them, there is a health alert. It supposes, above all a risk for pregnant women since the zika virus is related to cases of microcephaly in newborns.
The Zika virus is caused by the bite of the mosquito Aedes aegypti, which also transmits dengue and chikungunya. When the virus-carrying mosquito bites a person, the infection infects cells near the bite, then spreads to the lymph nodes and blood.
Another form of transmission is through the placenta, in such a way that if the mosquito bites a pregnant woman, lInfection can pass to the baby and cause malformations such as microcephaly.
Likewise, some cases have been described whose contagion has occurred through sexual transmission and it is believed that it could be possible to be infected through a blood transfusion.
This mosquito is currently widespread throughout much of Central America and South America, although isolated cases have already been described in other countries.
The most common symptom of the virus is fever, which usually occurs below 38.5º. It is also accompanied with joint and muscle pain, general tiredness, red spots, red eyes or conjunctivitis, vomiting or diarrhea.
They do not seem very serious symptoms if we compare it with other diseases with which we usually live, so much so that it is believed that 80% of those infected are not aware of the infection since they do not develop symptoms. Nevertheless, complications from this infection occur when contagion occurs during pregnancy, since it is associated with malformations in the baby such as microcephaly, a neuronal disease that causes the baby to have a lower head circumference than it would correspond to.
There is no vaccine to prevent Zika virus infection. Specialists recommend relative rest, acetaminophen for pain relief, or some antipyretic for fever and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
Currently the treatment recommended by experts is prevention as do not leave water in the pots To avoid the proliferation of these mosquitoes, use repellants and put mosquito nets on doors and windows.
In the case of already infected people, it is recommended to use condoms to avoid infecting another person through sexual transmission.
You can read more articles similar to Causes, symptoms and treatment of Zika virus, in the Health on site category.