Aedes mosquitoes, the same type of mosquito that carries dengue fever, yellow fever, and chikungunya virus transmits the Zika virus. The virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947. A mosquito bites an infected person and then passes those viruses to other people it bites. It spread to the South Pacific and spread outside of Africa until 2007.
The CDC has confirmed Zika can spread through sex. This occurs usually after a person travelled to an area where Zika has broken out and got the virus. The virus is then passed to a sex partner who did not travel. As per CDC, even if they haven't shown symptoms of infection, infected women and men can both pass the virus to sex partners. In addition, infected pregnant women can pass the virus on to their fetus.
In Utah, a person got the virus without travelling or having sexual contact. The first Zika-linked death in the U.S was a person related and caregiver of an elderly Zika patient who died in late June. The deceased man had travelled to an area where Zika is spreading, and lab tests showed high amounts of the virus in his blood. It was more than 100,000 times higher than that seen in other samples of infected people, the CDC says. He also had an underlying medical condition that has not been disclosed.
Contact with the older man's tears and sweat would have caused the passing of virus as per Health officials.
What Are the Symptoms of Zika?
Fever, rash, joint pain, and redness in the whites of the eye (conjunctivitis, or pinkeye) are all possible symptoms the disease can cause. But most people won't know they have it. Exhibiting symptoms could be only about 1 in 5 people with the virus. No symptoms at all are exhibited by the vast majority.
After a bite from an infected mosquito, symptoms can appear anywhere from 3 to 14 days, according to the CDC. They can last from several days to about a week. Especially if you are pregnant and if you live in or have visited an area where Zika is spreading, call your doctor if you develop any of these symptoms, the CDC says. At any point during their pregnancy, Pregnant women who have Zika symptoms should be tested for Zika.
Is Zika Similar to Other Mosquito-Borne Illnesses, Such as Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, or West Nile Virus?
Symptoms can last from a few days to more than a week as all can cause a variety of flu-like symptoms that range in severity. People infected with dengue or West Nile as with Zika, few will show any symptoms. Many different types of mosquitoes spread the West Nile virus, while the same type of mosquitoes that spread Zika also spread dengue and chikungunya,
Zika is the only virus spread through sexual contact.
How Is Zika Treated?
There's no treatment, but Adalja says over-the-counter medications for aches and pains, most people with symptoms do well with these. The disease usually runs its course within a week or so.
The CDC recommends infected people get plenty of rest and drink fluids to prevent dehydration. For medicines, take acetaminophen for fever and pain, Aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should not be taken until dengue is ruled out, to reduce bleeding risk, the agency says.
National Institutes of Health is currently testing one in humans. At present, there is no vaccine against Zika.
Birth defects linked to Zika has caused more than 2,100 babies in Brazil-born with microcephaly or other. Brazil and several other nations have advised women to postpone pregnancy.
All pregnant women in the U.S. should be evaluated for possible Zika exposure during each prenatal care visit, the CDC says, and all pregnant women with possible exposure should be offered Zika testing.