The Zika virus was first identified in rhesus monkeys in Uganda in 1947; it was later identified in humans in Uganda and Tanzania in 1952, and years later it got the world’s attention in 2007 in the Pacific Islands outbreak. The virus is mosquito-borne, and the latest emergence in Brazil in May 2015, has become a global health concern. Apart from low-grade fever and muscle ache, the appearance of rash is one of the common symptoms of Zika virus. Please note that the symptoms appear within 2 or 3 days after the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, and disappear normally in a matter of seven days or so. In some cases, the symptoms are mild and not serious enough for a person to make note of.
Spread of Zika virus
Reports indicate that the virus is fast spreading to the Americas and the search for the vaccine to halt the disease is on. Since May 2015, when the virus first case was discovered in Brazil, it has since spread to over 23 countries in the region according to reports from World Health Organization. The primary concern about the virus is it causes birth defects a condition known as microcephaly. Although disease is not an exclusive cause, Zika virus is the cause of the children born with damaged brains and small heads. The cases of children born with microcephaly have since risen along with the sporadic spread of the virus.
What does Zika rash look like?
The rash linked to Zika virus is of the macupapular rash variety, which means they are bumpy and flat. The rash can be either in the form of small spots (morbilliform or measles-like) or scarlatiniform (small and red as they look in case of Scarlet fever). The rash begins on the face and then spreads all over the body. The rash does not require treatment, because it fades away within three days or so. By the end of week, there is hardly any trace of Zika rash.
Zika Rash – Treatment and prevention
There is no treatment needed to address the rash because it goes away on its own. There is no cure for Zika as of now, the treatment is addressed towards controlling the symptoms. Since the symptoms ease away on their own, the concern is more towards the Zika manifesting in the form of Microcephaly in case of pregnant women. Zika is also linked with Guillain-Barré syndrome. Prevention is the key here, it is recommended to use mosquito repellents, use screens and close doors and windows to avoid mosquitoes from coming into one’s homes. Countries in Latin America and other affected areas of Zika Virus have asked women to postpone pregnancy. Also, pregnant women are advised not to travel to Zika affected countries.
Zika Rash – Pictures
Development of Zika virus vaccine
Research companies and pharmaceuticals have announced plans to develop a Zika vaccine, which is an urgent need to curb the fast spread that has already got to Texas in the United States. Disease experts warn that the virus will have infected 4 million people by end year. The experts say it might take time for an effective vaccine product to be released to the market due to the rigorous testing that such medicines go through before it is declared safe and effective for public use.
Dr. Jesse Goodman, a professor of infectious disease and medicine at Georgetown University called on people to be realistic that the process of developing a vaccine for a new disease is complex and time-consuming. Remember that Zika virus has not been on the map for a long time until it exploded recently in Brazil. Researchers will not only be developing a vaccine but also create a rapid test that can detect the Zika virus antibodies. Read about countries developing the Zika Virus vaccine.
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