Zika is a virus threatening the global health emergency. The infection has reached unborn babies and a state of emergency has been declared in certain regions. The doctors have alerted the people calling it “a pandemic in progress”. Some affected countries are asking women to put off pregnancy. The people affected by Zika virus rarely develop any symptoms and death is also rare. Though, some of the prominent symptoms include headache, mild fever, conjunctivitis, joint pain and rash. Seldom nervous system disorder leading to temporary paralysis is reported. Right now there is no treatment in terms of drugs or vaccines for the condition. Patients affected with Zika are advised to take lot of fluids.
The risk lies in impacting the fetus and in the rise in microcephaly. It is a condition of the baby born with a small head with an underdeveloped brain. The severities vary with the functionality of the brain being affected. Infections like substance abuse, genetic abnormalities or rubella is common. Zika is linked with pregnancy complications like stillbirth, miscarriage, premature birth, eye problems among others. The US Centers for Disease Control informs that Zika remains in the blood for a week and it can be spread during sexual intercourse. Though the infection is not caused in the baby conceived after the virus is out of the body.
The couple are advised to follow safe sexual practices and abstain from sexual intercourse for about 8 weeks if they are returning from a Zika virus infected country. If the male develops Zika symptoms then abstinence of sex is recommended for six months.
Zika is a public health emergency because it spreads fast and has ravaging consequences. It is an international concern and the disease is considered a global threat, just like Ebola. But unlike Ebola it is more connected with microcephaly. World Health Organisation is coordinating with the health agencies of various countries to conduct trials to identify the risks.