The first outbreak of Zika virus disease in India was in Ahmedabad early last year, and the second was reported from Tamil Nadu. However, with proper surveillance, the cases were successfully contained. In the latest report, 22 Zika virus cases have been reported in Jaipur, Rajasthan. With media reports doing rounds, it is natural for everyone to feel scared. So what is it that we all can do to protect ourselves from the disease?
For the uninitiated, Zika virus is linked to birth defects and development of Guillain-Barre syndrome, where one’s immune system attacks the nerves.
A person gets infected with Zika virus via bites of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Surprisingly, some people infected with the virus may not show any signs or symptoms, while others may develop symptoms like fever, mild rash or body ache. Extreme cases can also show persistent headache and eye infection lasting for up to 2-7 days.
Since there is no vaccine to protect one against Zika currently, it is important to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Here are some tips:
Wear full sleeves clothing, especially when you are visiting areas that are mosquito-infested.
Use good mosquito repellents with at least 10 per cent concentration of DEET. Even the ones that you can put on your clothes.
Goes without saying – keep your surroundings clean. Zika virus mosquitoes reportedly are more aggressive during the day and are found in indoor spaces. Do not let water collect anywhere- be it your bird feeder, flower pots, planters or coolers.
Zika can be sexually transmitted so practice safe sex.