what is zika virus ?
The zika virus was first isolated in 1947 from a Rhesus macaque monkey which was placed in a cage in the Zika forest of uganda by the scientists of the Yellow Fever Research Institute. Another isolation was performed from a mosquito A.africanus in 1948. The virus is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae and genus Flavivirus.This virus is related to dengue,yellow fever,Japanese encephalitis and west nile viruses.
Like other flaviviruses, Zika virus is enveloped and icosahedral and has a non-segmented single stranded, positive-sense RNA genome.A positive-sense RNA can be directly translated to viral ptoteins.
what is the pathology of the virus ?
Zika is primarily spread through the female Aedes aegypti mosquito which is active in day time.This virus has also been isolated from Aedes africanus, A.apicoargenteus,A.furcifer,A.hensilli,A.luteocephalus and A.vittatus with an extrinsic incubation period in mosquitoes of about 10 days.
Zika has been reported to be transmitted via sexual intercourse.A United states biologist who was bitten while studying mosquitoes in senegal transmitted the virus to his wife via sexual action.May be the well advertised means of the viruses pathology is it’s vertical transmission i.e mother to fetus during pregnancy or birth which is a true matter of fact.Transmisssion via blood transfusion has also been reported.
Zika replicates in the mosqito’s mid gut epithelial cells and then in its salivary gland cells.Even after 5-10 days Zika can be found in the mosquitos saliva.If the mosquito’s saliva alone is inoculated into a human subject,the virus can infect epidermal keratinocytes,skin fibroblasts and langerhans cells.Then it is hypothesised the virus moves on to the lymph nodes and blood stream.
Common symptoms of the infection include mild headaches,maculopapular rash,fever,malaise,conjuctivitus and joint pain.Thus, far Zika fever has been a comparatively mild malady with only one in five persons developing symptoms with no fatalities.The symptoms last for 2-7 days.The virus has been identified to exist in Africa,the americas, Asia and the pacific.
What is the treatment for the virus ?
In this current year of 2016 no vaccine is available, but preventative measures like mosquito nets,repellants, clearing stagnant water can be utilized.The symptoms are mainly managed via rest,paracetamol(acetaminophen),fluids and other nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory drugs can be used if Dengue virus has been ruled out from diagnosis.WHO experts have advised for the development of inactivated vaccines, so that it can be safe to use on pregnant women.
Since january the NIH vaccine research centre,Bharat Biotech International, and other 18 companies and institutions are working on developing a vaccine against zika virus but they have not reached human trials.