What is Arbovirus : Types, Transmission, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

What are Arboviruses?

An arbovirus is a group of viral infections that are transmitted to humans from a group of insects known as arthropods. It has many strains. The viruses can lead to a range of symptoms from mild to very severe. It is important to avoid insect bites to prevent nasty viral infections. The insects that can affect humans with arbovirus include ticks, gnats, fleas, and mosquitoes.

What is Arbovirus : Types, Transmission, Symptoms, Treatment

Types of Arboviruses

Arbovirus has many types. The three main types genera of arbovirus include:

How is Arbovirus Transmitted?

Arbovirus is mainly transmitted through an insect bite. The most common insect that spreads arbovirus is a mosquito. Other arthropods such as ticks, fleas, and gnats bite humans and spread the disease. The most common way of transmission of an arbovirus is insect bites. However, it can also spread through organ transplant, blood transfusion, sexual contact, pregnancy, and childbirth (from mother to child).

Symptoms of Arbovirus Infection

Mainly the infections caused by arbovirus do not cause any symptoms. If the symptoms are present, they can range from mild flu-like symptoms to encephalitis (a life-threatening inflammatory condition that involves swelling in the brain).

The symptoms and characteristics are neuroinvasive (the disease can infect the nervous system) or non-neuroinvasive (the disease that cannot infect the nervous system).            

The symptoms of neuroinvasive arbovirus include:

The symptoms of non-neuroinvasive arbovirus include:

How is Arbovirus Diagnosed?

Most people with arbovirus have no symptoms therefore diagnosing it is difficult.

A blood test can be done if a female is pregnant and has traveled to places where the Zika virus is prevalent.

Those with the symptoms of arbovirus should seek a diagnosis to get proper treatment. To diagnose neuroinvasive strains a person must exhibit the symptoms of encephalitis, meningitis, or other neurological signs.

For a diagnosis of non-neuroinvasive arbovirus, a person should have a fever, absence of neuroinvasive disease, and other symptoms of non-neuroinvasive arbovirus.

Blood tests are ordered by the doctors to look for the presence of arbovirus by isolating a single virus, antibodies, or antigens. If the blood test shows arbovirus presence, cerebrospinal fluid testing is recommended to confirm the diagnosis.

How is Arbovirus Treated?

Arbovirus does not have any specific treatment. Medications are prescribed to manage the symptoms. Medications like acetaminophen help control fever and body pains.

How to Prevent Arbovirus Infection?

Until the vaccines develop for arbovirus infection, which is under process, the best way to prevent arbovirus infection is to prevent insect bites. This can be done by:

  • Wearing clothes that cover the limbs when outdoors
  • Using insect repellants
  • Wearing pants by tucking them into the socks
  • Wearing light-colored clothing that is difficult for the insect to spot

Also, steps can be taken to reduce the prevalence of mosquitoes in the house and yard. It can be done by reducing standing water in the home and yard which can be helpful in shrinking the population.

Reducing the population of ticks can be helpful in preventing tick-borne arbovirus infection. To reduce the tick population following measures can be taken:

  • Mowing the lawn regularly
  • Keeping away tick-carrying animals
  • Clearing dead leaves
  • Using pesticides for ticks
  • Keeping outdoor furniture away from wooded areas
  • Disposing of the unused furniture
Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 23, 2022

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