ZIKA VIRUS KEY FACTS
What is Zika Virus?
Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne virus transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Approximately 1 in 5 people infected with Zika will get sick, and the illness is usually mild. A very small number of people can develop complications after becoming ill with the virus. Signs and symptoms usually begin 2 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. They include:
- Joint and muscle pains
- Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
- Pain behind the eyes
- Malaise (feeling of weakness in the body or discomfort)
What is the treatment for Zika?
There is no vaccine or specific medicine to treat Zika virus infections available at this time.
What should I do if I have Zika?
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink fluids to prevent dehydration
- Take medicine to reduce fever and pain. However, if you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medicine.
- Do not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- If symptoms worsen you should seek medical care and advice
What can people do to prevent becoming infected with Zika?
Mosquitoes and their breeding sites pose a significant risk factor for Zika virus infection. Prevention and control relies on reducing mosquitoes through source reduction (removal and modification of breeding sites) and reducing contact between mosquitoes and people. This includes:
- Empty, clean or cover containers that can hold water such as buckets, flower pots or tyres, so that places where mosquitoes can breed are removed.
- Use of insect repellant with DEET. Insect repellants that contain DEET offer the best protection against mosquito bites.
- Reapply insect repellant as directed
- If you are using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellant
- Do not use insect repellant with DEET on babies younger than 2 months of age. Dress your baby in clothes that covers their arms and legs. It is also advised that you cover their stroller, crib, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
- Wear clothes (preferably light coloured) covering as much of your body as possible
- Use of mosquito net while sleeping