Zika Virus: Information
What is Zika Virus?
The Zika virus infection in humans has been reported since the 1950s. It is transmitted by the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes, identical to dengue. Zika is generally a mild disease and most people infected with the Zika virus infection do not develop symptoms. There is no vaccine or specific anti-viral drugs.
Symptoms of Zika
80% of the people infected by the Zika virus do not develop symptoms (Sunday Times, 28 Aug 2016, p A3)
For those who do, they usually show signs within 3 to 12 days after the mosquito bite. The symptoms often last between 4 to 7 days. (Ministry of Health)
Differences between Zika , Dengue and Chikugunya virus
symptoms for dengue are higher fever compared to Zika and more severe muscle pain. There can
be complications when the fever breaks. Attention should be paid to warning
signs such as bleeding.
- Chikungunya also
has symptoms of higher fever and more intense joint pain, affecting the hands,
feet, knees, and back. It can disable people, bending them over so that they
cannot walk or perform simple actions such as opening a water bottle.
- Zika does not have clearly characteristic features, but most patients have skin rashes and some have conjunctivitis.
Transmission of the Zika virus
Aedes mosquito bites a person infected with the Zika virus. This infected mosquito bites another person and transmits the virus. If the person infected with the Zika virus is a pregnant lady, transmission of the virus from mother to baby happens.
What can you do?
To minimise the risk of further spread of Zika in Singapore, it is critical that all of us as a community take immediate steps to prevent mosquito breeding in our homes and community:
■ Read the instructions on the label and always use the product as directed.
■ Apply repellent only to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the product label) when necessary. Do not use repellent under clothing.
■ Never use repellent over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
■ When using sprays, do not spray directly onto face. Spray on your hands first and then apply to the face.
If you developed a rash or other bad reactions from the insect repellent, you must stop using it; wash the repellent off with mild soap and water and see a doctor if necessary.
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