Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that is spread by the Aedes species of mosquito, the mosquito also responsible for the transmission of dengue and chikungunya viruses.1-3
Unlike malaria-carrying mosquitos, this species is mostly active during the day and so barrier methods such as mosquito nets are ineffective. These mosquitos can survive in both indoor and outdoor environments.1
The two known species responsible for Zika transmission are the Aedes albopictus, known as the Asian Tiger mosquito, and the Aedes aegypti species.2
The Zika virus was first identified in monkeys in Uganda in 1947. The first human case, however, was detected in Nigeria in 1954, and following that there have been further outbreaks in Africa, South East Asia and the Pacific Islands.
While the symptoms of Zika typically pass within the space of a week, there have been recent concerns about the virus are due to a potential link between Zika and birth defects such as microcephaly.
In light of a strongly suspected causal relationship, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the Zika virus outbreak constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 1 February 2016. (for more read here)
What are its symptoms?
The virus usually causes mild illness.
Symptoms that may appear a few days after being bitten are:
- Slight fever;
- Conjunctivitis (inflammation of the underside of the eyelid);
- Muscle and joint pain;
The symptoms usually last from two to seven days, though incubation periods may vary.
There is no known difference in the symptoms of infected pregnant and non-pregnant women. (Read more here.)From the NST 1 September 2016:
This is a good video on the Zika virus:
Our Country like Singapore has got the Aedes mosquitoes which also unfortunately carries the Zika virus. So beware friends especially you young one who are starting your own families....take the necessary precautions, take care.