Zika virus typically spreads to individuals through the bite of an infected mosquito, but it can also be transmitted through sexual intercourse with an infected man or spread from an expectant mother to her fetus.
The illness is typically mild with symptoms lasting from a few days to a week. Since afflicted individuals do not usually get sick enough to go the hospital, they may not even realize they are infected. However, a Zika infection during pregnancy is believed to cause fetal defects of the brain known as microcephaly. Infants infected with the condition prior to birth have also been observed to suffer from hearing deficits, defects of the eye, and impaired growth.
The symptoms of Zika are very similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, which are spread through the same mosquito that transmits Zika. The majority of individuals afflicted with the virus will likely not even know that they have the disease since the symptoms can be very nonspecific. For those, who do experience the symptoms, the most common sensations will include the following.
Fever is usually experienced by individuals bitten by the Zika virus-carrying mosquito and ranges from mild to moderate. Like in other instances, the fever is associated with physical discomfort. And while the fever itself is not considered dangerous, the rise in body temperature can cause the possibility of dehydration. Since the body is not able to regulate its internal temperature as effectively, it becomes important to take plenty of rest and keep well hydrated.
The use of medication such as acetaminophen is recommended to reduce fever and pain.