Chances of Zika Low in Iran

Chances of Zika Low in IranChances of Zika Low in Iran

Chances of the Zika virus coming to Iran are very low because an efficient healthcare system has been tracking the Aedes mosquito, thought to be the major cause of Zika transmission, for four years, said Mohammad Mehdi Gouya, head of the Management Center for Infectious Diseases at the Health Ministry.

Only last year the insect was uncovered in small areas of the country where it was immediately eradicated by the teams in charge, he said.

“The mosquito is however found in some of our neighboring countries and it is therefore essential that we continue with our preventive measures.”

Addressing prospective travelers to infected regions, Gouya said that they must visit a health center upon return in case the symptoms are manifest, the local media reported.

The official also asked pregnant women to avoid unnecessary travel to infected regions until further notice, following reports in Brazil of microcephaly, a congenital condition associated with incomplete brain development and abnormal small heads and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant.

The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period for the virus is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. The virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for about a week but it can be found longer in some.

The World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency following the spread of the virus in the Americas. WHO director general, Margaret Chan said the priorities were to protect pregnant women and their babies from harm and to control the mosquitoes that are spreading the virus.

Zika virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys and subsequently in humans in 1952 in Uganda and Tanzania. Outbreaks of the disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

The Aedes mosquito also transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available for the virus. The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.