*Prevention Against Zika Virus*

*Prevention Against Zika Virus*
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Zika is a virus spread to humans mainly by Aedes mosquito, (the same mosquito that spreads dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever). Zika virus can be transmitted during labor, blood transfusion, laboratory exposure also. Cases of possible person-to-person sexual transmission have been described, but the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said more evidence is needed to confirm whether sexual contact is a means of Zika transmission.

Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week but it can be found longer in few people.

1. Symptoms-
About 80% of people infected with Zika virus have no symptoms at all, according to WHO. Those who become ill tend to have mild symptoms, including a low fever, rash, headache and red/ pink eye(conjunctivitis), muscle & joint pain and fatigue

The symptoms usually last up to 7days.

If you have Zika, prevent mosquito bites especially for the first week of your illness.During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to a mosquito through mosquito bites.An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.

2. Medicine during fever-
~Crocin drops or syrup to children.
~Paracetamol tablet to adults.

3. Home remedies to boost immunity-
~Fresh papaya leaf juice.
~Chew soft guduchi stems/Tablets
~Ashwagandha choorna 1tteaspoon in a glass of milk twice daily.
~Fresh amla juice twice daily.
~Juice of fresh wheatgrass daily.
~Decoction:10 harsingar leaves + 8 kalimirch + 6-8 tulsi leaves. Boil these in 1litre of water until one-fourth quantity is left.Strain it. Drink 3-4tsf of this decoction every 3-4hrs.

4. Diet during infection-
~Drink 2-3ltrs of ORS/2-3ltrs boiled water/1ltr lemon water/1ltr coconut water.
~Fruits-papaya, orange, mausmi, kiwi, pomegranate, cheeku.
~Juice of carrot + beetroot + spinach + amla.
~High protein diet.

*Avoid spicy and oily food*

5. Precautions-:
The best prevention is to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes and control the spread of the Aedes mosquito that breeds in clean water & spreads the Zika virus.
~Use mosquito net.
~Wear full sleeves clothes.
~Don’t let water collect in the nearby surroundings.
~Don’t eat Aspirin/Brufen/Naproxen.
~Avoid drinking cold water.

Pregnant women must protect themselves from insect bites as microcephaly may be present in babies of Zika virus infected mothers. If you have a baby or child:
~Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months of age.
~Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs.
~Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito nets.
~Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.

6. Risks Associated with Zika-:
There have been reports of a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly(a condition in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age) and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant.

Women who are pregnant (in any trimester): Consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.

7. Areas where Zika virus has reached-:
A news channel reports that the Zika outbreaks have been reported in at least 33 countries in the Americas. Brazil has been the most affected nation.
Other nations and territories include Barbados, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Colombia, Curaçao, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Maldives, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Tonga, Vanuatu, U.S. Virgin Islands, Venezuela, according to the WHO.
Prior to 2015, Zika virus outbreaks have occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.

**Zika can spread to any place by travel of an infected person to new area.There is no vaccine available for Zika infection so be cautious and follow immunity boosting remedies.**

Wishing good health!

Dr. Preeti

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