Zika Virus Alert: 10 Things You Should Know to Stay Safe

An infectious disease specialist shares how to keep safe from this deadly mosquito bite!

If the looming threat of a third COVID wave was not frightening enough, there is a new villain in town! Maharashtra reportedly discovered its first case of the Zika virus as the cases of chikungunya and dengue are also on the rise.

So, it is imperative to keep yourself safe and exercise the necessary precautions against the Zika virus.

Infectious disease specialist Dr Anita Mathew, Fortis Hospital Mulund says, "The vector through which Zika gets transmitted is similar to that of dengue and chikungunya. It spreads mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. For most people, Zika virus infection is not a serious issue. But it can be very dangerous among pregnant women, especially for fetuses. The infection can cause microcephaly (a brain disability condition) or other conditions called congenital Zika syndrome"

Dr Matthew adds that this virus can also easily transmit from a pregnant woman to her fetus, through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation. 

At a time when there is a raging Coronavirus pandemic and seasonal flu, here is how you can identify the symptoms of the Zika virus so that you can get early treatment. 


Keep calm and stay safe

If you observe any of the aforementioned symptoms, immediately consult your doctor instead of indulging in self-medication. The Zika virus has no specific treatment or vaccine which makes prevention the best cure in this case. Since the mosquito bites mostly during the daytime, making sure living areas are clean and no stagnant water is seen as mosquitoes lay their eggs in such water.

Dr Matthew says, "People detected with the virus are requested to stay indoors, rest as much as possible and drink plenty of fluids. Pregnant women should refrain from travelling to infected areas." 

•    Wear full-sleeved clothes
•    Ensure doors and windows are closed
•    Apply mosquito/insect repellents
•    Drink only boiled water
•    Consume fresh homemade food
•    Avoid using Aspirin to treat fever
•    Visit your medical expert if symptoms persist
•    Make sure your home is well ventilated
•    Avoid touching your nose and mouth with your hand without washing them
•    Avoid visiting crowded places to reduce your risk of viral infections