What You Need to Know About the Zika Virus
Despite the fact that it is not yet known exactly what the Zika virus is, what it does, or even if it is transmitted from one person to another through sexual intercourse, experts say there are several things you need to know about this disease.
Symptoms of Zika are usually mild and may go unnoticed. However, there are some cases of Zika that require hospitalization. These cases are rare, but Zika can have serious consequences if it is not treated. During pregnancy, it can lead to a condition called microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with a small head.
If you suspect you have Zika, you should avoid mosquito bites for the first week. Also, use an effective repellent that contains at least 10 percent DEET. Wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in rooms that are air-conditioned. You should also take precautions to avoid exposure to standing water. It is recommended to drain any standing water you see near your homes, such as in plant pots, used car tires, and animal dishes.
If you have traveled to a Zika-endemic area, you should be tested for the virus. If you do have the virus, you should avoid mosquito bites and sex for at least six months after your symptoms start. If you are pregnant, you should contact your obstetrician-gynecologist to discuss the risks of your pregnancy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel warnings about Zika. It has also released statistics and scientific data describing the virus’s transmission.
The virus is transmitted by the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. They are aggressive daytime biters and are found in indoor environments. They can also transmit yellow fever and chikungunya.
There is no treatment for Zika. Instead, you should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, drink plenty of fluids, and get rest. If you have a fever, you should also take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. This will help relieve pain and fever. You should not take NSAIDs if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. This can lead to hemorrhage, which is dangerous for both you and your baby.
If you have been to a Zika-endemic area and you are planning to become pregnant, you should ask your doctor about undergoing a blood test to see if you are infected. You should also consider using condoms during your pregnancy.
Transmission from mosquitoes
Viruses such as Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika are transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, which bite people and spread them. However, there is a lot of uncertainty about how mosquitoes transmit arboviruses to vertebrates. To understand how ZIKV infection evolves in vertebrates, researchers need an animal model that can replicate the natural transmission of ZIKV by mosquito vectors.
Aedes aegypti, a major ZIKV vector, is widespread in tropical regions. Its breeding sites include tree holes, sewers, flower pots, and cesspits. In addition to these places, Aedes mosquitoes breed in contaminated wastewater. This is believed to facilitate pathogen invasion and replication. Its range extends beyond the minimum temperature requirement of ZIKV, which may allow it to sustain transmission during the summer.
Aedes mosquitoes are also known to breed in human urine, which may contribute to the spread of ZIKV. Aedes mosquitoes may also acquire ZIKV in the aquatic stages, such as when they emerge from a contaminated water source. This possibility has been explored in some laboratory studies.
Aedes aegypti is the most common vector of ZIKV in the wild. Its main breeding sites include cesspits and tree holes, where it lays eggs. Its range extends to parts of the United States, southern Brazil, and some temperate regions. Aedes aegypti has been detected in raw sewage during dengue epidemics in Brazil. It may be possible to reduce the risk of human-mosquito spread of ZIKV by interrupting the transmission cycle, which involves a combination of sanitary measures and insecticides.
Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are both important ZIKV vectors in the wild. Infection experiments were carried out with the PE243 strain of ZIKV isolated from Brazil. This strain has been shown to be a reliable indicator of field-representative ZIKV titers.
The PE243 strain of ZIKV was integrated with lab-based studies on field-derived mosquitoes and model simulations. This combination provides a comprehensive tool for evaluating the vector-ZIKV interaction, as well as the progression of infection following natural transmission. Using the model, we show that a single infectious mosquito bite can transmit ZIKV to a mouse. We further confirm that the PE243 strain is a viable alternative for use in ongoing research on ZIKV.
Transmission from person to person through sexual intercourse
Having sex can be a healthy activity, but it can also be a risky endeavor, especially if you have a compromised immune system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you take protective measures for yourself and those who share your bed. You should also be aware that there are certain diseases that are more likely to be passed on than others. If you are at high risk, social distancing is the best course of action.
The best way to prevent the spread of germs is to keep yourself and your partner clean. Using latex condoms during your sex can help keep you and your partner safe. Using frequent handwashing can also reduce the spread of germs. It is also a good idea to be familiar with the CDC’s recommended quarantine guidelines.
If you have a compromised immune system or are in a vulnerable state, it is best to postpone your sex until you are fully recovered. You should also consider getting tested for any sexually transmitted infections you may have. If you are unsure of your partner’s health status, a good rule of thumb is to avoid any kind of physical contact, including sharing food or showers. This is the only way to ensure that your partner is up to par with you.
The best ways to protect yourself and those you share a bed with include limiting your sex to only one person and having latex condoms on hand. You should also be aware that some infectious diseases are transmitted through direct contact while others are passed on through other means. The best ways to prevent infection are to wash your hands often, use latex condoms and avoid petting your sexual partner with anything other than a clean towel.
Taking the time to learn about the many infectious diseases is well worth the effort. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has compiled a list of sex-related hazards. The bottom line is that you are more likely to catch an infectious disease than you are to develop it.
Risk through blood transfusions
Historically neglected infectious risks remain a threat to global blood transfusion safety. Recent progress in pathogen-reduction technologies offers a means to proactively address these threats. The challenge is to design appropriate strategies for endemic and emerging conditions.
There are two main categories of pathogens that are potentially associated with blood transfusions. The first is known to be a risk, such as the West Nile virus. The second is a pathogen that is rarely transmitted but is associated with symptomatic disease.
Among the agents that can be transmitted through blood transfusions are bacteria, parasites, and viruses. While most of these agents pose little or no risk to transfusion recipients, a small number are potentially dangerous. It is important to assess the risks of these agents before deciding whether to intervene.
The risk of Zika infection through blood transfusions is extremely low. However, the risk of other pathogens that have not been previously identified is not as low. As a result, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released guidance to reduce the risk of transmission of disease by blood.
Several factors contribute to the risk of Zika virus transmission through blood transfusions. These include the geographic distribution of the disease, the prevalence of the disease in the blood donor population, and the potential for clinical penetrance. Additionally, the nature of the transfusion procedure and the processing of blood products are also important.
During the outbreak in French Polynesia, 2.8 percent of asymptomatic blood donors tested positive for Zika viral RNA. Three studies reported the presence of ZIKV antibodies in blood samples. These antibodies could indicate a recent infection but do not necessarily mean that the blood is contagious. They could be false positives due to antibody cross-reaction with other flaviviruses.
Although the majority of pathogens are not a risk to transfusion recipients, newer infections are re-emerging more frequently than previously appreciated. These emerging pathogens require special attention in order to ensure global blood transfusion safety.
As part of the US FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the agency is assessing the risks of a variety of diseases, including Zika. The FDA recently published an epidemiological statement and recommendations to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus by blood.
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