25th September 2017

HEALTH AWARENESS ON ZIKA VIRUS INFECTION

General

  • Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.
  • Persons with Zika virus disease usually have a mild fever, joint pain, skin rash (exanthema) and conjunctivitis. These symptoms are mild and normally last for 2-7 days.
  • Currently, there is no specific treatment or vaccine available.
  • The best form of prevention is self protection against mosquito bites.
  • 80% of the persons infected may remain asymptomatic or have mild self limiting illness.
  • Infection among women during pregnancy or in child bearing age may lead to microcephaly and other neurological problems in the newborns

Signs and Symptoms

Fever, headache, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain

Risk to India

Presently India is free from infection. However, there is potential risk of entry of infection as:

  • Vector mosquito Aedes (also responsible for Dengue) is in abundance.
  • Asymptomatic infected persons can also transmit the disease via mosquito bites.
  • Around 5000 travellers are arriving daily from affected countries*.
  • The symptoms of Zika are general non-specific in nature.

Preventive Measures

  • Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has advised to defer all non-essential travel to affected countries.
  • Women should essentially avoid travel to affected countries (especially during pregnancy).
  • All pregnant women who have travelled to any affected* country during pregnancy period or two weeks prior to becoming pregnant should consult their doctor and undergo regular ante-natal check-up.
  • In case the travel cannot be deferred, follow strict Personal Protective Measures against mosquito bites.

Treatment

  • No vaccine or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika infections.
  • Any traveller, who, after visiting the affected countries* develops above mentioned symptoms within 14 days of arrival in India, should visit nearest hospital facility.
  • Symptomatic treatment:
    • Take plenty of rest.
    • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
    • Take medicine such as acetaminophen to relieve fever and pain.
    • Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen.
    • Consult your doctor

*AFFECTED COUNTRIES:

AMERICAS:  Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Suriname, U.S. Virgin Islands, Venezuela; OCEANIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS: Samoa; AFRICA: Cape Verde
*Up dated list of affected countries can be seen from WHO website: - http://www.who.int/en/

View ZIKA Letter View PDF