Health and Wellness
13 March 2016

Zika: The Threat is Real


The Zika virus outbreak is another event in a series of communicable diseases that has highlighted the threat of a potentially dangerous combination: vector borne diseases and generation of waste.   A city the size of Mumbai alone generates between six and nine thousand metric tonnes of waste every day. While the civic administration and the state do a terrific job of this disposing this waste, the accumulation of waste cannot be the sole responsibility of the authorities and cognisance should be taken by individuals, society and community leaders.   This waste, consisting of just every part of industrial end products, perishable and non perishable products is a breeding ground for not only scavengers like rodents, cockroaches and flies, but also vectors that transmit, amongst other conditions,  diseases such as dengue, malaria, encephalitis, and Zika. And so, to break this cycle it is critical that breeding grounds be disposed, sanitised and kept sterile. This of course is easier said than done but it has to start with good intent, social responsibility, and tangible results.   Public health in our country will dominate all aspects of Infectious Diseases starting from preventive medicine to burden of clinical disease either of ambulatory patients or hospitalised ones. It therefore makes a great difference in investing in preventing an infection than treating one.


Symptoms

The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache


Diagnosis

The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, diseases spread through the same mosquitoes that transmit Zika.


Treatment

Currently 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.



Dr. Om Shrivastav
(M.D. ( Medicine ), Infectious diseases specialist )


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