There could be some infections and viruses which cause threat even before a child is born. This is one of them…
Zika Virus has been in the news for quite some time now. A genuine concern as a parent is how it may affect the family. Though it does not cause problems in children it is of utmost concern in pregnant women and women who may want to become pregnant.
What is Zika Virus:
This virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. This was first seen in Africa almost 70 years ago, but now has spread almost all over the world, with special preference in the tropical areas, since they are apt for the mosquitos to breed.
Zika is known to affect unborn babies. If a pregnant woman is affected by Zika, it can lead to a miscarriage, stillbirth or anomalies in children. One such common anomaly is microcephaly. In this the baby’s head is small and the baby is prone to severe health and developmental problems. However, if a healthy child gets infected by Zika, will not have microcephaly.
The Spread of Zika:
The most common way in which the Zika spreads is through the bite of an Aedes aegyptior Aedes albopictus mosquito. The mosquito is usually infected and found in tropical places. The virus can also spread through other ways like unprotected sex, organ transplants and blood transfusions. Zika virus can easily pass from a mother to be to her unborn, it is of utmost importance to take the necessary precautions. The Zika virus does not spread from person to person through colds, sneezes or holding hands like in case of flu.
How Can Zika be Recognised:
Since most people affected by Zika do not show any vivid symptoms, people don’t even come to know if they have the virus. If the symptoms are present then they are very mild and can be noticed in 2 to 14 days. Some of the symptoms are:
- Pain in the joints of hands and feet
- Pain in muscles
- Red eyes
- A few people may also develop Guillain-Barre syndrome – a neurological condition with paralysis and weakness of the muscles
Zika affects the unborn babies in the following ways:
- Can cause microcephaly
- Impaired vision
- Hearing problems
- Developmental issues
Babies who contract the virus after they are born just develop mild fever and rashes along with the other symptoms.
Zika virus can be diagnosed by blood tests, urine analysis and ultrasound scans.
A Child with Zika can be Treated by:
- Staying indoors and plenty of rest
- Applying some mosquito repellent before the child goes out to play
- Making sure that the child is hydrated
- Using acetaminophen for fever and pain
There is no known vaccine for Zika. If you are pregnant or trying to conceive then try to stay away from mosquitoes. Also, the following precautions help immensely:
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants cover the exposed body areas otherwise prone to mosquito bites
- Staying indoors during the mosquito time
- Using reliable mosquito repellents
Theme Reveal, A – Autism, B – Bronchiolitis, C – Celiac Disease, D – Dyslexia, E – Eating Disorders, F – Fever, G – GERD, H – Hand Foot And Mouth Disease (HFMD), I – Imaginary Friends, J – Juvenile Arthritis, K – Kawasaki Disease, L – Leukaemia, M – Meningitis, N – Neuroblastoma, O – Omphalitis, P – Pica, Q – Q Fever, R – Retinoblastoma, S – SIDS, T – Tetanus, U – Urinary Tract Infection, V – Vomiting, W – Wilms’ Tumour, X – Xeroderma Pigmentosum, Y – Year-Round Allergies