29 de Enero de 2016 - 11h49
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INFORMATION OF GENERAL INTEREST 1
The infection is caused by the bite of Aedes mosquito; that have been infected with the virus. In the region, the first case was reported on March 3, 2014, on Easter Island in Chile, was of indigenous transmission of Zika virus fever.
In May 2015, the public health authorities of Brazil confirmed the Zika virus transmission in the northeast of the country. Since then, other countries have reported the presence of the virus2.
To diagnose the Zika fever, a clinical evaluation of symptoms and the epidemiological links is performed. There aren’t any restrictions to travel to the affected areas, but caution to mosquito bites is advisable in countries that have reported cases.
So far there is no evidence of lethality. Despite the fact there have been sporadic cases of people with a pre-existing illnesses or conditions that may complicate the situation and may cause death.
The most common are: mild fever rash or rash. Also: conjunctivitis, muscle or joint pain, general discomfort that usually begins between two to seven days after exposure.
Three out of four people do not develop the symptoms of the disease. Those who develop the disease are usually mild. The difficulty in diagnosing occurs because the symptoms are similar to dengue and chikungunya, which are also transmitted from the same type of mosquito.
Perinatal Transmission (mother to baby)
Relevant information is still very limited. Cases have been reported in association with other vector-borne viruses such as dengue and chikungunya. Studies are underway to test the transmittance of the virus from mother to baby and its possible effects on the newborn.
So far there is no vaccine or drug against the virus. The treatment is palliative, looking for pain and fever or other symptoms that may occur. It is recommended to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration caused by fever, which must be kept under control, the patient should rest.
Differences between the Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya
The patients with dengue and chikungunya have regularly higher fever and stronger muscle aches. The Zika has no special features, but most patients present skin rashes and some of them are have conjunctivitis.
Connection with Guillain–Barre syndrome
The Guillain-Barre syndrome occurs when the immune system of a person attack itself, the cells of the nervous system are affected. This syndrome causes: muscle weakness, tingling (paresthesia) in the extremities. Complications occur if the respiratory muscles are affected.
The French Polynesia and Brazil have documented an outbreak of Zika; these countries have reported an increase of people with Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS). However, is still not established a direct causal relationship between GBS and Zika fever. The existence of other genetic factors may contribute to the increased incidence of GBS.
About the Zika circulation
Conditions favoring the expansion
There are two factors for fast transmission that have also been documented in other countries:
1) Lack of previous exposure 2) The Aedes mosquito is abundantly distributed in tropical countries, who meet the conditions of weather, temperature and humidity.
Measures to prevent infection by the Zika virus
It aims to reduce the mosquito population and avoid their bites, which commonly occur during the daytime.
To eliminate and control the amount of mosquitos is recommended:
- If possible, do not store water inouter containers, such as pots, bottles, or anycontainer that canaccumulate water.
- Make sure that water tanks of domestic use and containers will be adequately sealed.
- Avoid accumulating rubbish, and close properly the rubbish bags in closed bins.
- Clean periodicallyclean thedrainstoprevent waterfrom pooling.
- Encourage the use ofnets/screens on windowsand doors,to reduce contactwiththe
- Wear long sleeves, trousers and hats
- Apply mosquito repellents in the body on a daily basis
- Ensurethe use ofmosquito nets tosleep
USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT ZIKA AND PREGNANCY3
Involvement of Zika virus in pregnant women and fetuses
The effect that the virus can cause to fetuses is under investigation. Ongoing investigations are focused on finding the cause, risk factors and the consequences of microcephaly. It is suggested that pregnant women who travel to areas of circulation of the Zika, to mention it during their prenatal visits.
It is a rare condition caused by genetic or environmental factors. It is defined as a condition in which birth the circumference of the head is smaller than the expected size for sex and age at birth.
It can occur in isolation or in association with other conditions of different levels of severity, which could range from seizures, feeding difficulties, effects on child development, to the risk of newborn life.
The consequences of microcephaly are difficult to define at birth, monitoring and evaluation of newborns are essential, with regular controls and subsequent evaluations. It is unknown the existence of a specific treatment.
The most reliable assessment to determine if a child suffers from microcephaly is performed more accurately within 24 hours of birth. In case of diagnosis of microcephaly, a multidisciplinary health team should start a process of monitoring and control of the child.
Pregnant women should regularly attend antenatal care and the health care professional will recommend the studies necessary in each stage of pregnancy.
2 See updated list: http://www.paho.org/virusZika
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