Sunday, January 26, 2020
Sharp-Journal > Explainers > Comprehensive Brief On Zika Virus

Comprehensive Brief On Zika Virus

Zika Virus

Zika virus until now was barely noticed, but it has become conspicuous to health experts and the general public since the start of 2016. Although the virus has long been discovered decades ago, the recorded cases between 2015 and 2016 is unprecedented and rather alarming.

Zika virus is an insect-borne (mosquito) infection, which could spread easily if not properly managed. It predominantly affects pregnant women and their foetuses. When the child is eventually delivered, strains or symptoms of the disease begin to manifest.

Zika virus is an insect-borne (mosquito) infection…Thus far, the virus has no known remedy.

Thus far, the virus has no known remedy. What the medics regularly do is to isolate the victim of the virus and give sustained treatment to reduce the effect of the virus until the person is well.

Infants are seriously vulnerable to the Zika virus since their immune system is not robust to withstand the virus strain.

However, adults can also contract the infection through blood or sex. A Case of sexual transmission has just been recorded in Texas, United States.

Symptoms or complications arising from Zika virus are thought to be mild or benign, but recent clinical observations in Brazil reveal that the virus strain is changing and it could be threatening.


The first known trace of Zika virus was discovered in Uganda, 1947, where some health scientists were carrying out experiments on yellow fever.

While using a sentinel rhesus monkey as their focus experiment, they discovered the virus when the monkey became ill.

With the experiment on monkey which led to the discovery of the virus, it was subsequently associated with mosquitoes—Aedes aegypt and Aedes albopictus of the genus Aedes in 1948.

After the discovery of the virus in 1947/1948 in animals, it was first discovered in humans in 1952 in Tanzania and later in a girl in Nigeria in 1954, but the case was properly isolated and no spread was recorded.

The virus, however, resurfaced in 2007 with about 49 confirmed cases in Micronesia, Oceania. In April 2014, Brazil recorded a large outbreak of the virus, with about 500 cases.

The virus is currently ravaging the Americas—Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. As at the time of writing this brief, the virus has surfaced in North America—the United States specifically.

Health experts have advised that it may spread to other regions if proper care is not taken to combat the virus.


According to Aljazeera, the virus can be identified through a blood test and does not require any specific treatment. In other words, diagnoses are based on the symptoms exhibited  by the victim through a blood test.

However, health experts have attributed small heads and brain damage, deformity and neurological syndromes to Zika virus.

But, the World Health Organization (WHO) has not confirmed officially, the associated ailments attributed to Zika virus through scientific verification. The world health body, however, could not rule out such possibilities.

There is a warning that the outbreak of the disease should be taken as a health emergency, considering the pandemic nature of the virus to spread to millions of people.

Zika virus is characterized or may come in the following conditions: fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, arthralgia, redness and joint pain. Zika virus was thought to be dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever, but it is not!

Even though the Aedes mosquito genus is also responsible for the spread of Zika virus, the general public should not confuse the manifestation of the virus to the earlier mentioned mosquito-borne diseases.

The commonly associated ailments to the Zika virus include ‘microcephaly’ and ‘Guillain-Barre syndrome’ (GBS).

Zika affected child
                                                            Zika affected baby

Microcephaly is an abnormal condition where a baby has an abnormally small head due to the abnormal brain development of the baby in the womb or during infancy.

Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare condition in which a person’s immune system attacks their peripheral nerves. People of all ages can be affected, but it is more common in adults and in males.


The WHO says the best protection of Zika virus is preventing mosquito bite. Preventing mosquito will protect people from Zika virus, as well as other diseases that are transmitted by mosquito.

According to WHO, prevention of mosquito bites can be done by using repellent, wearing clothes that cover as much of the body as possible, using physical barriers such as a screen, closed doors and windows; and sleeping under mosquito nets.

It’s also important to empty, clean or cover containers that can take a little amount of water, such as a bucket, so that places, where mosquito can breed, are taken out.


For now, there is no known or available vaccine to cure Zika virus; specific treatment to completely eliminate it is still inchoate. The ultimate solution is to eliminate the presence of mosquitoes or avoid mosquito bites to prevent its spread.

Don’t forget to like us on our social platforms.

Sharing is caring. Share the joy!
  • 13