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Review Article Open Access

Zika Virus: A Recent Emerging Threat to Global Health


Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne virus that belongs to the virus family Flaviviridae and the genus Flavivirus. It was first isolated from a rhesus monkey in Uganda in 1947, and caused sporadic human infections in some African and Asian countries, with usually mild symptoms of fever, rash, and arthralgia. It is also related to the Dengue, Yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile viruses. It has been known to occur within a narrow equatorial belt from Africa to Asia, since 1950s. Zika virus is an emerging pathogen and is the focus of an ongoing pandemic and public health emergency. Most often people get Zika through the bite of an infected Aedes Aegypti mosquito; this is the same mosquito that spreads dengue and Chikungunya. All these viruses cause similar symptoms, but there are some certain symptoms that suggest one disease or another. Most Zika patients have skin rashes in the whole body. No specific treatment like vaccine or preventive drug has been discovered yet for this infection. Possible treatment includes taking rest, drinking fluids to prevent dehydration and taking medicines such as acetaminophen or paracetamol to relieve fever and pain. This review summarizes the current understanding of ZIKV biology and epidemiology, as well as possible interventions to understand the role of the virus and the pathogenesis of these disorders to prevent contagion and transmission.

Rituparna Sarkar

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