Zika Virus: UPSC Notes for UPSC Science and Technology

Zika Virus infection is caused by the Zika Virus (ZIKV) belonging to the Flaviviridae family. It is an infection transmitted through the bite of infected female mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. It usually bites during the day time, peaking during early morning and late evening. Zika virus infection during pregnancy results in birth defects in newborn babies, a condition called microcephaly and can also cause temporary paralysis in adults. An important topic from the context of the Science & Technology subject of the IAS Exam, Zika Virus details should be known to the aspirants.

Quick Facts about Zika Virus

The table below mentions the latest and important facts are frequently seen in the news:

Zika Virus – Facts for UPSC
This virus is an enveloped positive-sense RNA genome that can be translated into viral proteins
It mutated into two strains called the Asian Strain and the African Strain
It is transmitted between mosquitoes and monkeys. The transmission in human beings had only a little evidence. 
Zika Virus was declared as Public Health Emergency by World Health Organisation
It was first identified in Uganda
Aedes mosquito bites spread the virus. The same mosquitoes are responsible for the spread of other fevers like – Yellow Fever and Dengue Fever
A definitive treatment for Zika Virus has yet not been found and no vaccines are approved

What are the modes of Zika Virus transmission?

The Zika Virus is primarily spread by the female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which is usually active during the daytime. The same species of mosquito is also responsible for spreading the Dengue fever as well. Apart from this type, several other species of mosquito with the genus Aedes have also been found to transmit the Zika virus they are as follows:

  1. Aedes Africanus
  2. Aedes Furcifer
  3. Aedes Hensilli
  4. Aedes Vittatus
  5. Aedes Luteocephalus

To know more about the Difference Between Dengue and Malaria, visit the linked article.

Zika Fever

The outcome of a Zika virus infection is a fever that mildly resembles the symptoms of Dengue fever. The symptoms of Zika fever may last less than seven days.

The diagnosis is done by testing the blood, urine or saliva of the infected person.

For the prevention of the fever, it is recommended that avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes where the disease has been a common occurrence and ensuring that any infected object is sanitised upon discovery.

Zika Virus – Download PDF Here

Relevant Questions for Zika Virus

What are the Symptoms of Zika Virus Infection?

There are multiple symptoms which are listed below.

  1. Skin rashes
  2. Muscle pain
  3. Joint pain
  4. Headache
  5. Fever, temperature around 102 degrees.

These symptoms usually last for 2 to 7 days.

Where did the Major Outbreaks of Zika Virus take place?

The three major outbreaks took place in the following places

  1. Yap Islands (2007)
  2. French Polynesia (2013-14)
  3. South Americas (2015-16)

Which States in India had Reported the Outbreak of Zika Virus?

The first cases of Zika virus were reported in 2017. Zika virus infection was reported in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu.

Aspirants can become familiar with the general pattern of the IAS exam by visiting the IAS Syllabus page. For more preparation materials they can refer to the links given in the table below:

Some other important articles related to the viruses are linked in the table below:

UPSC Preparation:

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