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Understanding Zika Virus: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention Strategies

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Zika virus, transmitted primarily through infected Aedes mosquitoes, presents as a mild illness in most cases, featuring symptoms like fever, rash, joint pain, and headache. However, its impact on pregnant women is severe, potentially causing birth defects such as microcephaly. Although symptoms typically manifest within 3 to 14 days post-infection, around 80% of cases remain asymptomatic.

Complications like Guillain-Barre syndrome can occur, albeit rarely, in adults. In pregnant women, regardless of symptom presence, Zika virus can lead to serious neurological issues in infants and increase the risk of preterm births or miscarriages.

Diagnosis involves specific laboratory tests due to similarities with other arboviral infections like dengue. Treatment primarily focuses on alleviating symptoms with rest, hydration, and pain relievers, as there is no specific antiviral therapy available. Prevention strategies include avoiding mosquito bites through repellents and protective clothing, eliminating breeding sites, and using insecticides.