Understanding the Zika Virus Facts, Symptoms, and Supplements

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH

The Zika Virus Facts

Mosquito bites are the largest vector for infection, learn Zika virus factsThe Zika virus is a global health emergency because of the birth defect it is believed to cause. Zika is a type of disease caused by Zika virus. It is important to learn the Zika virus facts. This disease is first spread to people through the bite of a mosquito known as Aedes species mosquito, but it can also spread via human fluids. The Zika virus’ rate of spreading is alarming because no vaccine has been discovered to curb it from spreading even further. The Center for Disease Control has already issued a warning to pregnant women to avoid traveling to the affected countries.

The Zika virus was discovered in 1947 in Uganda’s Zika forest. The virus is a flavivirus that is closely related to the other mosquito-borne viruses like West Nile virus and dengue virus. The mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus attack their victims during the daytime. These mosquitoes can survive both outdoors and indoors. Zika virus symptoms typically pass in the space of a week. The recent concerns about the Zika virus facts are because of its potential link to a birth defect called microcephaly.

Microcephaly is a developmental disorder that presents as a diminished head circumference more than two standard deviations below the mean. Newborns may have a normal head circumference early on, but the head may fail to grow with the rest of the body and face. Neurological and intellectual defects are common, as well as seizures, in newborns. Motor function impairment may appear later on in life.

Identifying Zika Virus Symptoms

When a Zika infected Aedes mosquito bites you, the symptoms typically appear within three to twelve days. The infected person will display:

  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Fever
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • Skin rash
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Pain behind the eyes

In very few cases, autoimmune and neurological complications such as Guillain-Barre and encephalitis syndrome have been reported. Currently, there are no vaccines for Zika virus infection. The solution is supportive care (e.g., fluids to prevent dehydration). The Zika virus facts are that the infection is considered a mild illness that resolves within two to seven days of symptoms presentation; 75 to 80 percent of people that are infected will not show Zika virus symptoms.

The possible links to a neurological syndrome have rapidly raised the risk profile of Zika from a mild threat to a potential epidemic. The increase in the incidence of microcephaly is particularly alarming because it is just a heartbreaking burden on communities and families.

Zika Virus’ Alarming Situation

Three reasons are outlined for Zika virus’ alarming situation. The reasons include:

  • The possible association of the Zika virus infection with neurological and birth malfunctions and syndromes.
  • Its potential to spread further to other parts of the world that have yet to experience it, given the wide geographical distribution of the mosquito vector.
  • Lack of immunity to the virus in newly affected areas due to the absence of vaccines.

Zika virus facts: The effects on the newborn brainIn Brazil, public health officials are investigating the current increase in the number of children being born with microcephaly (i.e. incomplete brain development). They are also investigating the occurrence of Guillain-Barre syndrome in some of the infected individuals since the inception of Zika virus outbreak. The researchers have not established a direct link between Zika virus infection and the microcephaly syndrome, although the potential Zika virus infection’s complications have been reported in some parts of Central and South American countries, including French Polynesia.

How Zika Virus is Transmitted

Primarily, Zika virus is a mosquito-borne disease, which has the possibility of transmission from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Transmission can occur through sexual contact and blood transfusion. Yellow fever mosquito known as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus can transmit Zika virus infections in Americas.

Zika Virus and Adrenal Fatigue

Often times, in Adrenal Fatigue, the immune system is on overdrive to reduce inflammation. However, this can leave the body vulnerable, especially to new viruses to which it has no immunity. The Zika virus, while not much worse than a common cold or flu, can still be taxing on an already weakened body. Furthermore, the emotional stress of having a child with microcephaly can be very traumatic on the body and may be enough to nudge the body into a crash and into the advanced stages of Adrenal Fatigue. It is thus very important to prevent the Zika virus. It is imperative that those with Adrenal Fatigue take special care to nurture the body as much as possible to prevent such infection.

How can you prevent Zika virus infection?

This virus must be prevented since there is no vaccine to solve the problem. Learn the Zika virus facts to reduce the risk of sickness. The following measures can be taken to avoid the Zika virus infection:

  • If you are traveling to the affected countries, ensure that you protect yourself appropriately against any mosquito bites, especially during the day.
  • Increase your fluid intake to prevent dehydration.
  • Take fever and pain relievers recommended by your doctor.

Zika virus facts: Nutrition may helpYou also need to consider boosting your immune system. Taking good care of yourself by boosting your body’s immune system is going to help you to prevent Zika virus infection. To boost your immune system against Zika virus, you may consider taking some supplements and herbs as well. Taking supplements and herbs may help to support your body’s immune system as it fights off the Zika virus. You can try the following:

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps in the production of white blood cells and stimulates interferon production, which can help your body to fight any foreign bodies like viruses and bacteria. A dose of 1000-3000 mg a day is recommended to keep the body’s immune system fortified.
  • Zinc: Because your immune system can be affected by Adrenal Fatigue, you need to eat foods that are rich in zinc. Zinc helps the function of T-cells and natural killer cells that are part of your immune system. It is also involved in producing antibodies in your body. Taking 25-50 mg a day may be considered.
  • Garlic: Allicin and allin are sulfur compounds found in garlic. These compounds give garlic its antibiotic, antiviral, and fungicidal properties. Knowing how devastating Adrenal Fatigue can be to your immune system is important. Garlic can help your body boost the immunity to fight off viruses, including the Zika virus.
  • Echinacea: This is one of the herbs you can use to boost your immune system against any virus. You can try it out to prevent Zika virus infection.

Understanding the Zika virus facts can reduce the risk. Prevention is better than cure and it is doubly important in the case of Adrenal Fatigue. This is because Adrenal Fatigue weakens the body’s immune system that can help you fight off viruses. Make sure to take the proper precautions when exposure may be possible. On top of that, keep yourself safe by boosting your immune system with supplements and herbs.

© Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Zika virus facts

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Hi Dr. Lam
Thanks for the article on chronic infections- its describing my body to a T. I wanted to tell you that you really are a great man for helping all the sick people that come to you and for that, I want to say thanks from all of us.