Zika virus disease: is a disease caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The Zika virus mosquito bites can turn very deadly. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). It is a flavivirus, part of the same family as yellow fever.
The Zika virus can cause microcephaly in babies born to women who were infected while pregnant. Microcephaly is a rare birth defect in which the baby’s head is smaller than expected, which can be related to problems with brain development. Other possible negative pregnancy outcomes include hearing problems and impaired growth in the newborn.
Most people do not know they are infected with Zika virus. Only 20% of people who are infected develop any symptoms or signs. Zika virus symptoms begin with mild diarrhoea, followed by a maculopapular rash (pink spots and bumps) starting on the head and upper body and spreading to the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Very few infections produce a rash on the palms and soles, so this may help identify the infection. Weakness and muscle and joint aches (myalgia and arthralgia) occur, as well as a short period of low-grade fever. Conjuctivitis (red eyes) may occur, as well as pain and diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and resolve within a week without specific treatment. Most cases do not require hospitalization. Several of the symptoms of Zika infection are similar to dengue and Chikungunya, which can occur at the same time and may be transmitted by the same mosquitoes in the same areas. In some cases, more serious illness may occur, such as meningoencephalitis. The symptoms of meningoencephalitis are headache, eye sensitivity to light (photophobia), confusion, and inability to bend the neck forward (cannot touch the chin to the chest; stiff neck).
There’s no vaccine or specific Zika virus treatment. The virus must run its course. Treatment includes supportive care for fever, body aches, and stomach symptoms. Rest and oral rehydration therapy (drinking plenty of fluids) is important. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the preferred pain reliever (analgesic) for fever and aches. Aspirin, Ibuprofen, naproxen (Aleve), and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are avoided, because they may increase the risk of bleeding if dengue virus is also present. A doctor must closely monitor fetal development in women who have been infected during the pregnancy. But there are some natural remedies that seem to help tackle the stubborn Zika virus.
Zinc plays a key role in ensuring healthy immune system and seeking out bacteria and viruses such as Zika. Zinc-rich foods include oysters, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and shrimp.
- Selenium-Rich Foods
Selenium ensures the proper function and deployment of the immune system, particularly against viruses. It even acts as an antioxidant in some contexts, so it can do wonders against the Zika virus. Selenium-rich foods include Brazil nuts, tuna, sunflowers and sardines.
- Chinese Skullcap
If you have been diagnosed with Zika virus or suspect that you have contracted it, Chinese skullcap can rapidly eliminate the pathogens and get you back to normal quickly.
The legendary powers of garlic against viral, bacterial and fungal infections are well known, which makes garlic a popular and readily available remedy for Zika virus. The active ingredient in garlic, allicin, is able to strengthen the immune system and eliminate the symptoms of the virus, such as fevers and aching muscles. Garlic extract, supplements, or powder all work effectively for this virus.
You can brew Echinacea tea or take supplements directly to push back against the Zika infection, making this an effective prevention and treatment method. Echinacea has been used for thousands of years to improve the strength of the immune system and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, stimulates white blood cell production, boosts the immune system and is an integral part of regrowth and repair of damaged parts of the body. If you’re suffering from Zika, add vitamin C-rich foods, such as papaya, strawberries, lemon and kiwi.
The active ingredient of turmeric, curcumin, is one of the most powerful antioxidants that we have identified in readily available food, and its ability to increase the strength of the immune system makes it a valuable tool against Zika. Curcumin is also a stimulant, increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation throughout the body, making it easier to eliminate the virus and its symptoms quickly.
- Cat’s Claw
The most important thing to know about cat’s claw is that this ancient herb is packed with certain alkaloids that increase the strength and resilience of your immune system. By increasing the ability of your white blood cells to absorb and neutralize pathogens, cat’s claw is an ideal aid for Zika virus infections. You can consume cat’s claw in tincture, capsule or extract form.
Prevention is better than cure.
The most reliable prevention requires avoidance of areas where Zika virus has been reported. If traveling or staying in these areas cannot be avoided, mosquito-avoidance precautions should be taken.
If you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, avoid travelling to affected areas. If you can’t avoid travelling, talk to health cares providers about the risk associated with Zika virus infection and birth defects. If you are pregnant and your partner has lived in or travelled to affected areas, talk to your health care provider. They may recommend steps to prevent getting the Zika virus through sex such as using a condom or refraining from sex while you are pregnant. Also some of the precautions are:
- Avoid mosquito bites throughout the day and night. Aedes mosquitoes are most active during the day, and they bite indoors as well as outdoors.
- Use long-lasting EPA-registered insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Follow the label directions carefully, and apply the repellent on top of any sunscreen or other product you may be using.
- Wear loose long-sleeve shirts and pants when possible. Treat clothing with permethrin because mosquitoes can bite through clothing.
- Sleep in lodgings with screened windows and doors, or air conditioning, or use mosquito netting around the bed at night. If this is not possible, sleep in a screened and zipped-up tent.
- Get rid of any possible breeding areas outside. Remove standing water from around the home. Dispose of tires that may be sitting outdoors. They are excellent breeding grounds because they are hard to empty. Think of any objects that may collect water outside and remove them or turn them over. Make sure all drains are free of clogs, including downspouts.