Zika virus is a mosquito-borne viral infection. This article discusses the details about how long does the Zika virus last in the body. It also details about the transmission and prevention of Zika virus.
How Long Does Zika Virus Last In The Body?
The most commonly asked question is how long does Zika virus last in the body? The virus spreads when a mosquito bites an infected person and becomes a carrier of the virus. This infected mosquito then bites another person, and the virus enters that person’s bloodstream. It is commonly spread by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito.1 The virus is also known to spread through sexual contact and blood transfusion.
The people infected with zika virus usually present no signs and symptoms, while a few might report fever, rash, and muscle pain. If infected during pregnancy zika virus can lead to miscarriage, microcephaly, and also Gullian-Barre syndrome. The virus can also pass on to the fetus during pregnancy.
Zika virus symptoms begin two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. A person might experience mild fever, rash, and joint or muscle pain. There might also be a headache and redness of eyes.
Now coming back to the question how long does Zika virus last in the body, according to the published researches, the zika virus was not seen in the man’s semen after a period of three months. According to this the guidelines from VCDC recommend that the infected men use a condom or abstain from sex 6 months after the zika virus infection. A very little virus is found in the saliva and the vaginal secretions, but linger in blood serum and urine for weeks. In most men, the virus disappears from the semen by 81 days.
Know About Transmission and Prevention of Zika Virus
It is important to know about transmission and prevention of Zika virus. It not only helps in better management but also helps control spread of infection. Zika virus is transmitted from one person to another through,
Mosquito Bite- The mosquito becomes infected by biting the already infected person. It then becomes the carrier of the virus. The infected mosquito then spreads the virus from one person to another by biting them.
From Mother to Child- A pregnant female can pass the virus to the fetus during pregnancy. The virus leads to microcephaly and other brain defects. Zika virus is also found in breast milk. But there is no surety of it being transmitted to the babies who breastfeed and are found positive for Zika virus.
Through Sex- Zika virus passes from one partner to another during sexual intercourse. Zika virus remains in the semen longer than any other body fluid i.e. vaginal fluid, urine, and blood.
Through Blood Transfusion- There are not much of the confirmed reports or studies on transmission of zika virus through blood. The virus remains in the blood for weeks and is thought to be transmitted from one person to another if a blood transfusion is done.
Laboratory and Healthcare Setting- There are certain reports of zika virus being transmitted via laboratory settings, though the route is not very clear.
Prevention of Zika Virus Infection
There is no vaccine for zika virus, but a few steps taken can prevent you from contracting the disease-
The best way to prevent illness is to protect yourself from the mosquitoes. Wear long sleeve shirts and pants. Use effective mosquito repellents which are available in many forms such as coils, creams, and patches. Sleep under a mosquito net if you live in a zika-prone area.
Avoid unprotected sex, if your partner has traveled to an area with the risk of Zika.
If infected with Zika, avoid mosquito exposure, to avoid the illness from spreading. This will prevent the mosquito from being infected and further disease transmission.
Pregnant women should avoid travelling to areas with Zika outbreaks.