Zika

Definition

noun

An illness caused by Zika virus, which is spread by a bite (i.e.Aedes species) of a mosquito harboring the virus, and its symptoms (e.g. fever, red eyes, maculopapular rash, headache, and joint pain) when present are often mild, however, is associated with microencephaly in newborn birthed from a mother infected with the virus


Supplement

Zika is an illness caused by a Flavivirus species, particularly Zika virus. It is usually asymptomatic. When the symptoms are present, they are often mild. The symptoms include fever, red eyes, maculopapular rash, headache, and joint pain. Nevertheless, Zika remains medically important since it has been associated with microencephaly in newborn. A mother infected by Zika virus transmits the virus to her child at pregnancy . This has been associated with various brain malformations, especially microencephaly, in newborns. Zika virus infection has also been linked to Guillain–Barré syndrome, a rapid-onset muscle weakness caused by an immune attack on the nerve cells of the peripheral nervous system , in adults.

The causative agent is the Zika virus, a virus belonging to the genus Flavivirus. The virus may use an arthropod vector, thus, it is an arbovirus. In particular, it utilizes mosquitoes of the genus Aedes, e.g. A. aegypti, A. africanus, A. apicoargenteus, A. furcifer, A. hensilli, A. luteocephalus, and A. vitattus. The mosquito transmits Zika viruses into the human skin where the latter can infect the epidermal keratinocytes, the skin fibroblasts, and the Langerhans cells. The viruses may reach the bloodstream and spread to the lymph nodes.

Apart from an arthropod vector, the virus may also be transmitted sexually and via mother-to-child route.


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