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ZIKA VIRUS INFECTION

Zika virus is an icosahedral, enveloped, single-stranded RNA virus that comes from the Flaviviridae family and genus Flavivirus.

It is transmitted in humans through a bite of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito.

In February 2016, the Zika virus infection was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an international health emergency.

Pregnant women infected by Zika virus may pass their infection to the developing fetus and may cause birth defects such as microcephaly, ventriculomegaly, intracranial calcifications, extra-axial fluid, polymicrogyria, decreased brain parenchymal volume, hypoplasia of the cerebellum, brainstem or dermis, delayed myelination, thinning or hypoplasia of the corpus callosum and cortical atrophy and malformation.

 

 

Principles of Therapy

Principles of Therapy

  • There is no specific treatment for Zika virus infection thus, supportive and symptomatic treatment are given
  • Infected patients should be protected from further exposure to mosquito especially during the first few days of illness in order to prevent the other mosquitoes from becoming infected and to reduce local transmission
  • Supportive care, which includes bed rest, increased fluid intake and use of analgesic (only when fever and pain are present) are advised
  • For patients with Guillain-Barre syndrome, optimal care including neurologic exam, vital signs and respiratory function monitoring should be done frequently

Pharmacotherapy

Antipyretics and Analgesics

  • Paracetamol is used for fever and pain relief
  • Avoid Aspirin and other salicylates since these may cause gastritis, bleeding and acidosis
  • Patients are also advised to avoid taking Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) until dengue has been ruled out in order to decrease the risk of hemorrhage
    • Pregnant women at ≥32 weeks age of gestation (AOG) are advised to avoid taking NSAIDs in order to minimize the risk of having premature closure of the ductus arteriosus
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