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How is Zika infection prevented? How is the disease diagnosed?

Based on the current available information, World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend any travel to Zika virus affected countries.

Individuals traveling in or returning from Zika virus affected countries presenting with the following symptoms within 7 days of travel, should seek medical treatment immediately and inform the attending doctor of their travel history:
  • fever
  • skin rash (exanthema)
  • muscle or joint pain
  • malaise
  • headache
  • conjunctivitis (red eye)

Infographic: How is Zika infection prevented? How is the disease diagnosed?

Infographic: How is Zika infection prevented? How is the disease diagnosed?
Infographic: How is Zika infection prevented? How is the disease diagnosed?


How is Zika infection prevented?

Given the current global situation of Zika virus infections, if you wish to visit countries affected by the Zika virus, you are advised to take the following precautionary measures to minimize risk of infection of Zika virus:
  1. Prevent mosquito bites by:
    • covering skin with long-sleeve clothing, trousers and hats
    • using insect repellents on exposed body surfaces
    • sleeping protected under mosquito nets
    • using screens or mosquito nets on windows and doors

  2. Avoid doing outdoor activities during peak biting times of the Aedes mosquitoes, i.e. a few hours after dawn and before dusk.

  3. At least once a week, empty, clean, turn over, cover and dispose of containers that can hold water, such as tires, buckets and flower pots, both inside and outside of dwellings to eliminate mosquito breeding sites.

  4. Avoid having unprotected sex for eight (8) weeks after returning home from Zika virus affected countries.

  5. The public should continue the "search and destroy" activities to reduce the breeding places of Aedes mosquitoes in their homes and surroundings. These precautions do not only reduce the risk of Zika virus infection but also dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya and other vector borne disease.

As a precautionary measure, pregnant women, especially those in their first trimester, are advised to postpone their trip to Brazil until the cause of microcephaly [1] events associated with Zika virus infection in the country can be identified.

How is the disease diagnosed?

You are suspected to be infected with Zika virus disease if you have rash or fever more than 37.5°C with one or more of the following symptoms which cannot be explained by other medical conditions:
  • joint pain (arthralgia)
  • muscle pain (myalgia)
  • headache
  • malaise
  • pink eye (non-purulent conjunctivitis or conjunctival hyperemia)
  • presented with Guillain-Barre [2] syndrome or microcephaly, if age less than 1 year

and
  • recent history of travel to an area with active Zika virus transmission (within 7 days after arrival) or history of contact with confirmed Zika case.

A diagnosis of Zika virus infection can only be confirmed through laboratory tests on:
  • blood; or
  • other body fluids, such as urine, saliva or semen.

References
  1. ^ Microcephaly is a rare medical condition where a baby is born with a small head or the head stops growing after birth. There is no specific treatment for microcephaly.

  2. ^ Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare medical condition in which a person's immune system attacks their peripheral nerves. People of all ages can be affected, but it is more common in adults and in males. Severe cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome are rare, but can result in near-total paralysis. Most people recover fully from even the most severe cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, although some continue to experience weakness.


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Knowledge Base ID :   1568
Last Reviewed :   September 13, 2016
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