In the past few years, India has been plagued with diseases that involve unique and less known viruses from around the world. We’ve always been wary of mosquitoes that are part and parcel of our sub-tropical climate. They are the carriers of most viruses and have been wreaking havoc since decades, mostly without being detected. Dengue, kala-azar, yellow fever, Malaria and the likes have taken away several lives when treatment was sparse in the early 20th century. Growing up in West Bengal, we have been using a mosquito net since forever and while it is irksome to manage, it has probably prevented quite a few diseases. But the usage is getting rare these days as it is an inconvenient and confined measure to prevent the mosquitoes and more families are opting for other convenient methods.
Zika virus : The rise and spread
I wasn’t aware of the Zika virus until a few years ago but now I know that it was discovered long ago in Africa, though it also has an Asian strain. It was limited to Africa until 2007 and began spreading in Asia post that. Zika virus is transmitted through the mosquito species Aedes aegypti that also carries deadly viruses of Dengue, Malaria and Chikun guniya. The mosquitoes bite an infected human and then a non-infected one to transmit the virus. While it has always been prevalent in Africa, only a few cases have been recorded in India yet. But don’t let that fact deter you from gathering prevention from Zika virus as there is no vaccine invented yet.
Symptoms and Treatment
Zika virus is deadlier than the others as it causes Zika fever which doesn’t have visible symptoms in 80% of the patients. The major symptoms that have been detected are rashes, fever, joint pains and redness in eyes. But all these occur during Dengue and Chikun guniya too, causing confusion and non-detection of Zika virus at all. The patients should be admitted to a hospital immediately after these symptoms and treated with paracetamol and rest as there is no vaccine for Zika virus in India. There are tests available though that will detect the virus and possibly quarantine the patient.
Why is Zika virus deadly?
One of the main carriers of the Zika virus are mosquitoes but beside them Zika can also be transmitted via bodily fluids like blood, semen, urine, saliva or eye fluids. Zika is also transmitted sexually, through pregnant mothers and blood transfusions. That makes it even more contagious than the deadliest diseases and can turn any area easily into a Zika-infected one.
Zika virus Prevention in India and the use of Goodknight
While we can’t (yet) eradicate Zika virus from India and rest of the world with vaccines and treatments, let’s take a pledge to at least prevent it from infecting people via mosquitoes. And the best in our fight against Zika virus is still the good ol’ Goodknight. My family has been using it since years and that red machine of Goodknight Activ + System makes sure we enjoy a good night’s sleep without worrying about mosquito bites through the night. There are other great products too like the Goodknight Power Shots that can be sprayed to prevent mosquitoes from even entering the room! I have also wanted to try the new Goodknight Fabric Roll-On with Bubblegum fragrance. You can roll it on shirts, trousers, kerchiefs, and scarves of your children as they are bound to be on the playground for longer periods since it’s spring already!
I think a little few steps might lead all the way to prevention of a much larger menace that might make its presence to be felt very ominously in India, probably in near future.