Miscarriages or stillbirth could take place due to a number of underlying health conditions. But besides the well-known causes of the same, there is one which continues to be unrecognized even today. Zika virus infections which do not show any symptoms could also be an important cause of miscarriages and stillbirth. This raises concerns about the complications which are likely to arise from this condition. The results of an animal-based study showed that 26% non-human primates infected with Zika suffered miscarriage or stillbirth despite very few symptoms of the infection. This virus is known to cause a brain abnormality in kids known as microencephaly along with other malformations. The symptoms of this disease in adults include rashes, headaches, muscle and joint pain and fevers. But strangely, most cases are asymptomatic. The results of a study showed that exposure to the virus in the first trimester of pregnancy were linked to a higher risk of fetal death. Therefore, it is extremely important for pregnant women to take extra care of them and avoid all forms of infections as much as possible.
Also read: Zika Virus: The Dos And Don’ts
The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus full of surprises, sadly, the unpleasant ones. This virus caught global attention when it broke out in Brazil in the year 2015. And at present, 60 countries across the globe are dealing with this virus at a large scale. Despite this, there are a number of things about Zika which still need to be explored.
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Here are 6 things about the Zika virus you must be aware of.
1. The virus is too mild to show symptoms
The Zika virus shows very mild symptoms like rashes, fever, joint aches and pinkeye. These symptoms are common with many other health conditions. It looks like it is not a big deal and is nothing to worry about. And to make things worse, 80% people do not even realize that they are infected with Zika. It looks like a harmless infection.
2. The virus stays in your blood for a week
Just like the dengue virus, Zika stays in your blood for a period of seven days. The virus is likely to pose certain health risks to pregnant women if it sticks around for too long. But once the virus goes away, the risk posed by this virus reduce. Nevertheless, it might stick around in bodily fluids like in the semen, urine or saliva.
3. The virus is mostly transmitted through mosquitoes
In most cases, Zika is a mosquito-borne virus. The female Aedes aegypti mosquito and sometimes the Aedes albopictus mosquito bites are responsible for the spread of this infection. These mosquitoes transmit the yellow fever and dengue as well. However, if a mosquito bites a person carrying this virus, it is likely to pass on the virus to 15 other people throughout its lifespan.
Also read: 8 Best Natural Mosquito Repellents
4. It can also be transmitted sexually
Surprisingly, Zika can be transmitted sexually as well. Researchers recently confirmed that Zika can stick around in the semen for as long as 62 days after the symptoms start to appear. However, there is not much evidence to support the fact that the disease may spread through vaginal excretions. A study conducted in France also suggests that the virus may spread through oral sex.
5. Pregnant women should avoid areas of Zika outbreak
Pregnant women need to be protected from this virus the most. They are expected to avoid travelling to places where the virus is prevalent. it could increase the risk of miscarriage. This also goes for women who are trying to conceive.
6. Some precautionary measures for this virus
Nevertheless, if it is important to travel to a Zika-ridden place, take some precautionary measures. Wear long sleeves and pants, carry a mosquito spray with you and stay indoors as much as possible. After all, prevention is better than cure!
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.