A coronavirus is a group of common viruses. They are named for the crown-like spikes on the surface of the virus.

What is coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a group of common viruses. They are named for the crown-like spikes on the surface of the virus. Some coronaviruses only affect animals, but others can also affect humans. Most people get infected with human coronaviruses at some time in their life. This usually causes mild to moderate upper-respiratory infections, like the common cold. But they can also cause more severe illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

There are several different types of human coronaviruses, including the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronaviruses.


Different types of human coronaviruses vary in the severity of the illness they cause and how far they can spread.

There are currently six recognized types of coronavirus that can infect humans.

Common types include:

  • 229E (alpha coronavirus)
  • NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
  • OC43 (beta coronavirus)
  • HKU1 (beta coronavirus)

Rarer, more dangerous types include MERS-CoV, which causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV), the coronavirus responsible for SARS.

How coronavirus spread?

There has not been a great deal of research on how a human coronavirus spreads from one person to the next.

However, it is believed that viruses transmit using secreted fluid from the respiratory system.

Coronaviruses can spread in the following ways:

  • Coughing and sneezing without covering the mouth can disperse droplets into the air, spreading the virus.
  • Touching or shaking hands with a person that has the virus can pass the virus from one person to another.
  • Making contact with a surface or object that has the virus and then touching your nose, eyes, or mouth.
  • On rare occasions, a coronavirus may spread through contact with feces.

People in the U.S. are more likely to contract the disease in the winter or fall. The disease is still active during the rest of the year. Young people are most likely to contract a coronavirus, and people can contract more than one infection over the course of a lifetime. Most people will become infected with at least one coronavirus in their life.

It is said that the mutating abilities of the coronavirus are what make it so contagious.

Symptoms of coronavirus

Cold- or flu-like symptoms usually set in from two to four days after coronavirus infection, and they are typically mild.

Symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • A runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • A cough
  • In rare cases, fever
  • A sore throat
  • Exacerbated asthma


In advanced cases, the patient can have very serious complications, which can lead to death, such as:

  • Severe pneumonia
  • Renal (Kidney) failure
  • Coronavirus infection is similar to the common cold and typically affects the upper respiratory tract
  • It finally leads to death


Your healthcare provider may order laboratory tests on respiratory specimens and serum (part of your blood) to detect human coronaviruses. Laboratory testing is more likely to be used if you have severe disease or are suspected of having MERS.

If you are experiencing symptoms, you should tell your healthcare provider about any recent travel or contact with animals. Most MERS-CoV infections have been reported from countries in the Arabian Peninsula. Therefore reporting a travel history or contact with camels or camel products is very important when trying to diagnose MERS.

Treatment for coronavirus

There is no vaccine for coronavirus. To help prevent a coronavirus infection, do the same things you do to avoid the common cold:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Keep your hands and fingers away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are infected.

You treat a coronavirus infection the same way you treat a cold:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink fluids.
  • Take over-the-counter medicine for a sore throat and fever. But don’t give aspirin to children or teens younger than 19; use ibuprofen or acetaminophen instead.

A humidifier or steamy shower can also help ease a sore and scratchy throat.

Even when a coronavirus causes MERS or SARS in other countries, the kind of coronavirus infection common in the U.S. isn’t a serious threat for an otherwise healthy adult. If you get sick, treat your symptoms and contact a doctor if they get worse or don’t go away.

Home Remedies

When you swallow a couple of pills, you may not be aware of what else it might lead to future adverse effects on the body. But treating diseases through natural, non-processed food diet is a gentle way to build a healthy body.

Here are home remedies to fight the symptoms of the coronavirus attack. You can chase the Wuhan Pneumonia with these healthy food recipes.

Four Tea that attacks coronavirus

  • Lemon Tea – Kills the sore throat removes the infection from the passageway
  • Ginger Tea – Eases your headaches caused by the respiratory infections
  • Lemon Honey Tea – Soothes your airway passage and softens your rough coughs
  • Mint Tea – Stops the runny nose and helps in easy breathing

To curb the infection of the coronavirus, detoxification is important. This virus attack is contagious and if you don’t want to be a victim of Wuhan pneumonia, it is best you remove toxins from your body.

Detoxifying recipes to stay free from infections

  • Dissolve 1-2 tsp of honey in 1 cup of herbal tea (Herbs like madhuyashti, basil, peppermint, vasa)
  • Prepare salads using detoxifying foods such as beetroot, radishes, cabbage, and broccoli. Boil and mix them gently, if you wish a cooked meal.
  • Yoga is another way to detoxify your body. It is a healthy form of cleansing your body and mind.

Can coronavirus infections be prevented?

Right now, there aren’t any vaccines to prevent human coronavirus infections. But you may able to reduce your risk of getting or spreading an infection by

  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoiding touching your face, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that you frequently touch
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Then throw away the tissue and wash your hands.
  • Staying home when sick

Alcohol poisoning can occur when a person drinks large quantities of alcohol, including beer, wine, and liquor, in a relatively short time.


Alcohol poisoning can occur when a person drinks large quantities of alcohol, including beer, wine, and liquor, in a relatively short time. As the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream increases, the liver can’t break down the alcohol and remove its toxins from the blood quickly enough.

The excess alcohol acts as a depressant and causes parts of the brain that control vital body functions–including breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature–to shut down. The blood alcohol content (BAC) can continue to rise 40 minutes after the last drink, as alcohol in the stomach and intestines continues to enter the bloodstream.

Prevalence of Alcohol poisoning

  • Binge drinking is the most common cause of alcohol poisoning. This can occur in social settings or when a drinker consumes five or more alcoholic beverages alone.
  • Alcohol is readily available in the United States for anyone over the age of 21, and drinking at social events is very common.
  • Alcohol poisoning can occur whenever a person consumes more alcohol than his body can handle, though the actual amounts required vary greatly between individuals.
  • Poisoning is far more common in situations where large quantities of alcohol are available or drinking is a major part of social activities, such as sports events or parties.

Alcohol poisoning causes

  • Too much alcohol in your bloodstream causes the areas of your brain that support breathing, your heart rate, and other basic life-supporting functions to start to shut down.
  • In other words, your friend who drank way too much, may not just be sleeping it off. If he is experiencing an episode of acute alcohol poisoning, drinking too much too quickly, his condition could lead to coma and even death if you do not intervene.
  • Alcohol poisoning affects the brain, blood vessels, and liver. Rapid fluid ingestion alters the fluid concentration in your body, potentially disrupting your fluid and electrolyte balance.
  • Children or adults can get alcohol poisoning. When it comes to kids, and maybe adults too, your thoughts might immediately jump to the liquor cabinet, but remember that another household product that contains alcohol, such as a cooking extract, or medicinal tincture, could be the culprit.

Risk factors


Young adults are more likely to drink excessively, leading to an alcohol overdose.


Men are more likely than women to drink heavily, resulting in a greater risk for an alcohol overdose.

Body size

Your height and weight determine how quickly your body absorbs alcohol. Someone with a smaller body may experience the effects of alcohol more rapidly than someone with a larger body. In fact, the smaller-bodied person may experience an alcohol overdose after drinking the same amount that a larger-bodied person can consume safely.


Having a high tolerance for alcohol or drinking quickly (for example, by playing drinking games) can put you at increased risk for an alcohol overdose.

Binge drinking

People who binge drink (drink more than five drinks in an hour) are also at risk for alcohol overdose.

Other health conditions

If you have other health conditions, such as diabetes, you may be at greater risk of having an alcohol overdose.

Drug use

If you combine alcohol and drugs, you may not feel the effects of alcohol. This may cause you to drink more, increasing your risk for an alcohol overdose.

Symptoms of Alcohol poisoning

Know the symptoms are as follows:

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Vomiting
  • Hypothermia
  • Inability to stay conscious
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Lack of physical coordination, including an inability to walk
  • Irregular pulse
  • Depressed breathing
  • Seizure
  • Choking
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Blue-tinged skin, especially around the lips or under the fingernails

Alcohol poisoning complications

In more extreme cases, alcohol poisoning can be life-threatening. It can cause trouble, like:

  • Choking on your own vomit
  • Trouble breathing because of vomit that gets into the lungs
  • Severe dehydration
  • Brain damage
  • Coma

Diagnosis and test

In addition to checking for visible signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning, your doctor will likely order blood and urine tests to check blood alcohol levels and identify other signs of alcohol toxicity, such as low blood sugar.


Anyone suffering from alcohol poisoning requires immediate medical attention. They are a danger to themselves and others, and without direct medical intervention, the damage to the person’s health is likely to be worse. Before diving into the proper treatment, it’s important to debunk some myths about how to help someone who is too drunk:

Sleep it Off- Blood alcohol level can continue to rise in someone’s sleep, but since they’re unconscious their condition is impossible to monitor.

Drink Coffee- Caffeine does nothing to counteract the effects of alcohol and may actually exacerbate the effects of alcohol poisoning.

Take a Cold Shower- Again, this does nothing to lower blood alcohol level, and the sudden change in temperature may actually induce shock.

Walk it Off- Exercise and activity do not make the body filter alcohol out of the bloodstream any faster.

The takeaway is that there is no home remedy for alcohol poisoning. As soon as the signs or symptoms are observed an ambulance should be called immediately. Engaging the authorities is always a big decision, but in this instance, it’s better to error on the side of caution. Take these actions while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

  • Keep the person with alcohol poisoning awake.
  • Keep them sitting up rather than lying down. If they do become horizontal, move their head to the side to prevent choking on vomit.
  • Encourage the person to drink water but do not force them to consume as much as possible.
  • Never leave the person unattended.
  • Get prepared to tell the emergency responders how much the person drank and any other medical information it may be important to know.
  • Get the person with alcohol poisoning ready to go into the ambulance by gathering up their bag or coat.

After someone is admitted to the hospital it’s up to the doctors to decide what medical intervention to pursue. These are the most common treatments:

  • Having a tube inserted down the windpipe to aid with breathing.
  • Inserting an intravenous drip to provide nourishment and hydration.
  • Inserting a urinary catheter if incontinence becomes an issue.
  • Pumping the stomach to remove excess alcohol from the body.
  • Performing dialysis to accelerate how quickly the kidneys remove toxins from the system.

Prevention of Alcohol poisoning

Perhaps the only good thing about alcohol poisoning is that it is 100% preventable. Taking the following steps will help avoid a dangerous situation from developing.

  • Only drink in moderation, if at all. Have one drink at most per day, and ideally abstain.
  • Drink slowly.
  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
  • Make sure to drink sufficient water.
  • Store alcohol products carefully and out of the reach of children.
  • Educate your family and friends (especially teens) about the dangers of alcohol poisoning.

The story of a lady called different names due to her size, and the beauty behind her simple ♥.

The story of a lady called names due to her size, and the beauty behind her simple ♥.


Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu have claim that he is the most prepared aspirant for the Nigeria presidential pole come 2023.

Oneworldnews learnt that the Ex Abia governor, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu have claim that he is the most prepared aspirant for the Nigeria presidential pole come 2023.

He stated this during an interview granted with the Arise news recently.


A report reveals that a US man become the first to receive pig transplant.

According to our news channel it was gathered that a US man become the first person to receive a heart transplant from genitically modified pig.


An Exclusive interview with the governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.

Exclusive interview with the governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.

During the interview He noted some of the key facts that affected his party in recent and further for unity among the Peoples Democratic Party PDP.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is an infectious condition that can cause serious respiratory illness and sometimes death.

Overview – Severe acute respiratory syndrome

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is an infectious condition that can cause serious respiratory illness and sometimes death. SARS became a concern in 2003 when an outbreak that began in China spread worldwide causing a global epidemic. The disease was contained and there have been no cases of SARS anywhere in the world since 2004.

SARS is caused by a coronavirus, the same family of viruses that causes some common colds. Like most respiratory viruses, SARS appeared to spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing and close contact. Symptoms of the infection seen during the 2003 outbreak included those similar to the flu: fever, cough, chills, fatigue, and shortness of breath, headache, and diarrhea. The infection progressed rapidly and most people with SARS needed to be hospitalized and isolated to prevent the spread of the virus to other people, including healthcare workers.

Pathophysiology of SARS

The lungs and gastrointestinal tract have been demonstrated to be the only major organ systems that support SARS-CoV replication.

After the establishment of infection, SARS-CoV causes tissue damage by (1) direct lytic effects on host cells and (2) indirect consequences resulting from the host immune response. Autopsies demonstrated changes that were confined mostly to pulmonary tissue, where diffuse alveolar damage was the most prominent feature. (See the image below.)

Multinucleated syncytial giant cells were thought to be characteristic of SARS but were rarely seen. Angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2), being a negative regulator of the local rennin-angiotensin system, was thought to be a major contributor to the development of this damage.

The other mechanism was thought to be the induction of apoptosis. The SARS-CoV–3a and –7a proteins have been demonstrated to be inducers of apoptosis in various cell lines.

Immunologically, SARS is characterized by a phase of cytokine storm, with various chemokines and cytokines being elevated.

Transmission – Severe acute respiratory syndrome

SARS is an airborne virus, which means it spread in a similar way to colds and flu.

The SARS virus is spread in small droplets of saliva coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person. If someone else breathes in the droplets, they can become infected.

SARS can also be spread indirectly if an infected person touches surfaces such as door handles with unwashed hands. Someone who touches the same surface may also become infected.

The SARS virus may also be spread through an infected person’s poo. For example, if they do not wash their hands properly after going to the toilet, they may pass the infection on to others.

Evidence from the SARS pandemic of 2002 to 2003 showed people living with or caring for someone with a known SARS infection were most at risk of developing the infection themselves.

Causes – Severe acute respiratory syndrome

SARS is caused by a member of the coronavirus family of viruses (the same family that can cause the common cold). It is believed the 2003 epidemic started when the virus spread from small mammals in China.

When someone with SARS coughs or sneezes, infected droplets spray into the air. You can catch the SARS virus if you breathe in or touch these particles. The SARS virus may live on hands, tissues, and other surfaces for up to several hours in these droplets. The virus may be able to live for months or years when the temperature is below freezing.

While the spread of droplets through close contact caused most of the early SARS cases, SARS might also spread by hands and other objects the droplets have touched. Airborne transmission is a real possibility in some cases. The live virus has even been found in the stool of people with SARS, where it has been shown to live for up to 4 days.

With other coronaviruses, becoming infected and then getting sick again (reinfection) is common. This may also be the case with SARS.

Symptoms usually occur about 2 to 10 days after coming in contact with the virus. In some cases, SARS started sooner or later after the first contact. People with active symptoms of illness are contagious. But it is not known for how long a person may be contagious before or after symptoms appear.

What are the risk factors for SARS?

SARS-CoV can infect a person regardless of their health status or age group. However, it was clear that some people were at increased risk during the 2002-2003 outbreak. This included people over the age of 50 (some reported mortality rates of about 50%), pregnant women, and those with underlying diabetes, heart disease, or liver disease. A major risk factor is a simple close association with any person infected with SARS-CoV since the virus can be spread through droplets sprayed into the air by coughing, sneezing, or even talking.

Other risk factors include the following:

  • Recent travel to mainland China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan or close contact with ill people with a history of recent travel to these areas
  • Employment in an occupation at risk for SARS-CoV exposure, including a health care worker with direct contact with a patient having SARS-CoV, or a worker in a laboratory that contains live SARS-CoV
  • Relationship with a cluster of cases of atypical pneumonia without an alternative diagnosis

What Are the Symptoms of SARS?

SARS symptoms are similar to those of the flu, including:

  • Fever over 100.4°F
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Problems breathing, including shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malaise
  • Night sweats and chills
  • Confusion
  • Rash
  • Diarrhea

Breathing issues will appear within two to 10 days after a person is exposed to the virus. Health officials will quarantine a person who presents the above symptoms and family members if they have a history of foreign travel. The person will be quarantined for 10 days to prevent the virus from spreading.

Factors that increase your risk of contracting the disease include close contact with someone diagnosed with SARS and a history of travel to any other country with a reported SARS outbreak.

Possible Complications of SARS

Complications may include:

  • Respiratory failure
  • Liver failure
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney problems

Diagnosis and Test – SARS

Your health care provider may hear abnormal lung sounds while listening to your chest with a stethoscope. In most people with SARS, a chest x-ray or chest CT show pneumonia, which is typical with SARS.

Tests used to diagnose SARS might include:

  • Arterial blood tests
  • Blood clotting tests
  • Blood chemistry tests
  • Chest x-ray or chest CT scan
  • Complete blood count (CBC)

Tests used to quickly identify the virus that causes SARS to include:

  • Antibody tests for SARS
  • Direct isolation of the SARS virus
  • Rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for SARS virus

All current tests have some limitations. They may not be able to easily identify a SARS case during the first week of the illness when it is most important.

Treatment for Severe acute respiratory syndrome

Currently, no definitive medication protocol specific to Severe acute respiratory syndrome has been developed, although various treatment regimens have been tried without proven success. The CDC recommends that patients suspected of or confirmed as having SARS receive the same treatment that would be administered if they had any serious, community-acquired pneumonia.

Isolate confirmed or suspected patients and provide aggressive treatment in a hospital setting. Patient care precautions include contact, droplet, and airborne isolation. N95 respirators are preferred to surgical masks. Mechanical ventilation and critical care treatment may be necessary during the illness. No benefit has been shown with prone ventilation. An infectious disease specialist, a pulmonary specialist, and/or a critical care specialist should direct the medical care team. Communication with local and state health agencies, the CDC, and the WHO is critical.

Is there a vaccine?

There is currently no vaccine against SARS, but scientists are working on one.

In 2013, researchers announced that they had found a way to disable a part of the virus involved in SARS that allows it to hide from the immune system. This could lead to the development of a vaccine against the disease.

Since 2004, there have been no recorded cases of SARS anywhere in the world. Health organizations continue to work on a response, in case SARS reappears in the future.

Prevention of SARS

There’s no cure for SARS. You can lower your chances of getting it in the first place with some simple steps:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with dirty hands.
  • Wear disposable gloves if you have contact with someone’s pee, poop, saliva, or other body fluids.
  • Wipe surfaces like countertops with disinfectants, and wash personal items with soap and hot water.
  • If you’re around someone with SARS, wear a surgical mask to cover your nose and mouth.

Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum, on Wednesday, lamented the activities of Boko Haram/ISWAP in the state.

According to a report by our news men, the Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum, on Wednesday, lamented the activities of Boko Haram/ISWAP in the state.

Zulum lamented that Boko Haram terrorists openly celebrate marriages and collect taxes in the state without confrontation by armed Forces.

He spoke during a meeting with lawmakers and some military personnel, at the state’s Government House in Maiduguri.

Zulum lamented that some areas of the state are still under the control of Boko Haram.

According to Zulum: Presently, Guzamala and Abadam local government areas are still under the control of Boko Haram.

Just a few days ago, I received a security report that in some communities of Mandaragirau axis in Biu Local Government Area, there are reports that over 500 Boko Haram/ISWAP group have been converging with over 300 motorcycles and even celebrating parties/marriages amongst themselves without confrontation.

ISWAP are collecting taxes along major roads in Damboa and other axes in southern Borno. It is very unfortunate.


Zika virus is similar to dengue fever, yellow fever, and West Nile virus.

What is the Zika Virus?

Zika virus is similar to dengue fever, yellow fever, and West Nile virus. Carried by infected Aedes aegypti mosquitos, Zika is largely transmitted through bites, but can also occur through intrauterine infection.

If a woman is bitten by an infected mosquito and becomes infected, Zika can cross into the placenta and affect the fetus. While anyone can contract Zika, pregnant women are the most at risk due to the potential for fetal microcephaly and other neurologic abnormalities. Sexual transmission of this virus can occur. The transmission has been reported from infected men and women to their sexual partners. The virus can be transmitted through anal, oral or vaginal sex.

How does Zika Virus transmit?

The zika virus can be transmitted in the following ways:

  • Through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito
  • Blood transfusion
  • From a pregnant woman to her unborn child or the fetus
  • Through sexual intercourse (including vaginal, anal, and also oral sex, and sharing of sex toys, between male-to-female, female-to-male, and male-to-male, sex partners. So far there are no confirmed cases of sexual transmission between female sex partners. The zika virus may or may not be transmitted through saliva while kissing. )

The zika virus gets transmitted to a human being by infected female Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. After a mosquito bites an infected person, the zika virus enters the system of a mosquito, replicates in its body and spreads to its salivary glands. The virus incubates in the mosquito for eight to ten days.

Soon after, when the mosquito feeds on a person, the virus gets transmitted to the person. The incubation period of the zika virus in a person is about three to 12 days after the mosquito bite.

During this time the virus travels through his body and spreads to various glands in the body. It enters the bloodstream, and from there, into the nervous system.


Like many other flaviviruses, Zika virus is transmitted by an arthropod: the Aedes mosquito, including Aedes aegypti, Aedes africanus, Aedes luteocephalus, Aedes albopictus, Aedes vittatus, Aedes furcifer, Aedes hensilli, and Aedesapicoargenteus. Sexual transmission among humans has also been described.

Zika virus is well-adapted to grow in various hosts, ranging from arthropods to vertebrates. Viral attachment to unidentified cellular receptors is mediated by the E (envelope) glycoprotein. This is followed by endocytic uptake and then uncoating of the nucleocapsid and release of viral RNA into the cytoplasm. A viral polyprotein is produced and modified by the endoplasmic reticulum. Immature virions collect both in the endoplasmic reticulum and in secretory vesicles before being released.

Sirohi et al described the structure of the mature Zika virus based on cryoelectron microscopy. The virus resembles other known flavivirus structures with the exception of approximately 10 amino acids surrounding the Asn154 glycosylation site in each of the 180 envelope glycoproteins comprising the icosahedral shell, the carbohydrate moiety of which may be the attachment site of the virus to host cells.

Causes and Risks

The Zika virus is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae and is closely related to other mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever and yellow fever. It is passed in one of three ways:

  • By a mosquito bite from the Aedes aegypti mosquito
  • During pregnancy when it is passed from an infected mother to her unborn baby
  • During unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex

It is also possible, but not confirmed, that the virus can be transmitted through breast milk.

It only takes one bite to become infected.

In terms of sexual transmission, the virus is able to persist in semen where it is less able to do so in saliva or vaginal secretions. As such, Zika is more commonly passed from man to woman rather than the other way around.

Symptoms of Zika virus infection

Most people have minimal symptoms or no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they’re usually mild and last around 2 to 7 days.

Commonly reported symptoms to include:

  • A rash
  • Itching all over the body
  • A high temperature
  • A headache
  • Joint pain (with possible swelling, mainly in the smaller joints of the hands and feet)
  • Muscle pain
  • Red eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain behind the eyes

Possible complications

Although most people recover with no complications, Zika virus infection in a pregnant woman can pose significant risks to the unborn baby, even if the woman does not develop any symptoms. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects including microcephaly (an abnormally small head), brain abnormalities, vision and hearing loss, and more. When some of these birth defects are present together, the condition is called congenital Zika syndrome (CZS).

There have also been increased reports of a serious nervous system disorder in adults, called Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) following infection with Zika virus. Symptoms of GBS include:

  • The weakness of the arms and legs
  • Weakness or paralysis of the muscles that control breathing

Symptoms of GBS can last a few weeks to several months. Most people fully recover but some people have permanent nervous system damage; very few people die from GBS.

There have also been rare case reports of other nervous system conditions affecting the nerves, spinal cord and brain in children and adults.

A small number of deaths associated with Zika virus infection have been reported. These have been seen in:

  • Infants with severe birth defects
  • Children and adults with underlying health conditions that weaken their immune system (reduce their ability to fight disease)

Diagnosis of zika virus

A Zika infection can be diagnosed by a doctor with tests that can either directly detect the organism or indirectly confirm evidence of infection. The testing procedure can vary but usually involves two separate tests used in tandem:

  • Nucleic acid testing (NAT) is used to detect genetic evidence of the Zika virus. The NAT test would be performed concurrently on both a blood and urine sample.
  • Immunoglobulin M (IgM) testing is used to detect proteins, known as antibodies, that are produced by the body in response to the Zika infection. The test is blood-based and usually able to detect antibodies within four days of the appearance of symptoms.

Testing Recommendations

While the diagnosis of a Zika infection is relatively simple, it is not for everyone. Testing is currently recommended for the following at-risk groups only:

  • Any symptomatic person believed to be exposed to the virus either through unprotected sex or recent travel to a region where Zika is endemic
  • Any pregnant woman believed to be exposed to the virus either due to recent travel to an endemic region or unprotected sex with a person who recently returned from an endemic region

Treatment for zika virus

Currently, there is no treatment for Zika.

A person with symptoms should:

  • Rest
  • Increase fluid intake to prevent dehydration
  • Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain killers to relieve pain and fever

The CDC advises against using aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) until a diagnosis of dengue has been ruled out in those at risk due to the risk of hemorrhage.

The CDC also advise that pregnant women who are diagnosed with Zika should be considered for the monitoring of fetal growth and anatomy program every 3 to 4 weeks.

They also recommend seeing a doctor who specializes in pregnancy management and either infectious disease or maternal-fetal medicine.

How to prevent Zika Virus?

While the Zika virus usually only causes mild, self-limiting illness, the transmission of the virus during pregnancy can be serious and lead to a rare birth defect known as microcephaly. Because there is neither a vaccine nor treatment for the Zika virus, the only way to prevent infection is to avoid mosquito bites if traveling to or living in an area where the Zika risk is high.

Moreover, if you are in those areas while you are pregnant, you would need to either use condoms every time you have sex or abstain from sex until your doctor tells you otherwise.

Prevent mosquito bites

  • Choose an EPA‐registered insect repellent with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanoate, and use the repellent according to the product label. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • Use the repellent day and night because the mosquitoes that transmit Zika virus bite during the day, but will also enter buildings and bite at night.
  • Use permethrin‐treated clothing.
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long sleeves, socks, pants, and hats.
  • Sleep indoors in rooms with screened windows or air‐conditioning, or use a bed net if you sleep in a room that is exposed to the outdoors.

Preventing Sexual Exposure

Avoiding Zika during pregnancy requires a two-prong approach: preventing mosquito bites and avoiding exposure during oral, vaginal, or anal sex.3

If you are pregnant, it is best to avoid traveling to countries where the virus is endemic. If your partner has just returned from such an area, there are several things you both can do to protect yourself.

Preventing Blood Exposure

While there have been several cases in Brazil where the Zika virus has been passed through a blood transfusion, the risk is considered low. While research is ongoing, current evidence suggests that the virus is less able to persist in blood and will likely clear within 13 days.6

Newly implemented guidelines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration further reduces the risk by routinely screening blood donations and removing any which tests positive for the Zika virus from the blood supply.

If this doesn’t offer you enough assurance, you can make an autologous donation by which you donate blood for yourself prior to surgery or planned medical procedure. Autologous donations require a doctor’s prescription. Contact your provider to find out if you are eligible to make such a donation.