Zika rash is a symptom of Zika virus infection which typically transmits via the bite of Aedes mosquitoes. Patients suffer from flu-like symptoms such as fever, rash, and joint pain, etc.
The main concern associated with Zika virus disease is the increased risk to occurrence of congenital microcephaly in babies born to infected mothers as well as Guillain-Barre syndrome in adults.
Symptoms accompanying Zika rash
Zika virus infection often does not cause any symptoms and infected individuals may never realize that they are infected. Symptoms typically occur in 2 to 10 days after contact with the virus. These include:
- A skin rash that is maculopapular, i.e., bumpy or flat, in the form of small spots or morbilliform, or as smaller bumps or scarlatiniform. Zika rash begins during the first day of infection and migrates all across the body. It starts clearing after 2 to 3 days and fully disappears in about 7 days.
- Patients may suffer from mild fever or illness, headache, muscle aches, sore body, joint pain, and conjunctivitis.
- Some infected individuals may experience malaise, vomiting, fatigue, and pain in abdomen.
- The eyes may become red and sore, leading to increased photosensitivity.
Some complications that may occur due to Zika rash causing infection are listed below:
- The recent outbreak of Zika virus infection in Brazil has provided evidence of a link between occurrence of microcephaly and Zika virus disease during pregnancy.
- An autoimmune condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome marked by rapid onset paralysis may occur.
Causes of Zika rash
- Zika rash is caused due to infection by Zika virus which is spread to humans via the bite of Aedes mosquito that is infected by the virus. It may be noted that the virus tends to stay in human blood for about 10 days. If a mosquito bites an infected person during these 10 days, then it acquires the infection and can later transmit the virus to a healthy person when it bites him/her.
- The Aedes mosquito tends to live around humans. It breeds in pots, buckets, and other objects or places with standing water. It often bites during the daytime.
- Zika virus can also transfer from an infected person to his/her partner during sexual intercourse, or from an infected mother to the newborn during delivery.
Treatment and prevention of Zika rash
There is no vaccine to prevent Zika virus infection, but research is on to find one.
There is no one specific way to get rid of Zika rash and accompanying symptoms. Treatment of the illness is usually not required as the condition is mild and typically resolves in about 7 to 10 days.
- People with fever and pain can consult a doctor for medications such as painkillers, etc., to find relief.
- Drinking adequate water to keep the body hydrated and taking bed rest is also recommended for speedy recovery.
- Taking steps to prevent and control breeding grounds for mosquitoes as well as protective steps like wearing pants and long sleeves, using insect repellants, avoiding areas with mosquito infestation, etc. can help prevent the development of Zika rash.