Zika virus – Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

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According to WHO, Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys through a monitoring network of sylvatic yellow fever. It was subsequently identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

Countries with confirmed Zika virus cases (Photo: Tribune News Service)
Countries with confirmed Zika virus cases (Image: Tribune News Service)

Although modern medical science says there is no vaccine to prevent or specific medicine to treat Zika infections, Ayurveda talks about both prevention and cure of it. Take a look at it at the bottom of this article.

The following is a guideline for symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. (Source http://www.cdc.gov/zika/symptoms/index.html)

Symptoms

  • About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika).
  • The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.
  • The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
  • People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.
  • Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week but it can be found longer in some people.

Diagnosis

  • The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, diseases spread through the same mosquitoes that transmit Zika.
  • See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above and have visited an area where Zika is found.
  • If you have recently traveled, tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled.
  • Your healthcare provider may order specialized blood tests to look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya.

Treatment

  • There is no vaccine to prevent or specific medicine to treat Zika infections.
  • Treat the symptoms:
    • Get plenty of rest.
    • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
    • Take medicine such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) to relieve fever and pain.
    • Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
    • If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.
  • If you have Zika, prevent mosquito bites for the first week of your illness.
    • During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to a mosquito through mosquito bites.
    • An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.

Ayurvedic viewpoint on Zika virus

Zika is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.

Home Remedies To Cure Zika Infection Naturally

  • Kwatha (Decoction): Take 5 Tulasi (basil) leaves, 4 Kali Mirch (whole black pepper) beads, 3 Laung (clove) buds and 1 teaspoonful of fresh grated Adraka (ginger). Mix them in a glass of water and boil the entire mixture until the quantity of water is halved. Filter and add a teaspoonful of honey. Your Ayurvedic decoction is ready. Take this decoction twice daily.
  • Herbs: Mix 1 teaspoonful of Sitopaladi Churna with 1 teaspoonful of honey and have it twice daily.
  • Golden Milk: Add a teaspoonful of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk. Drink it every night. (Source http://www.ayurvedahimachal.com/index.php?page=completearticle&&id=143#sthash.F1f18MyC.dpbs)

When we talk of Ayurveda, we need to keep in mind that being an extended part of the Vedas, ayurveda is a holistic science and as such, those using ayurvedic herbs and plants need to follow the system described in the Vedas. As mentioned in this article, it is important that Tulasi leaves are used only after offering them first to Lord Vishnu.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is taken from various sources mentioned above. You are advised to do your own research and / or contact a qualified doctor before following any guideline mentioned herein.