September 03, 2016 64
The common factor that unites both Zika and Dengue is the fact that both are mosquito-borne diseases and the transmitting vector is none other than Aedes aegypti. Dengue is pretty common in countries like Malaysia and Singapore, thanks to the tropical weather and since the carrier is the same Aedes mosquito, it can also spread Zika in a similar fashion. Zika has already infected several people in Singapore and now we have are beginning to hear of it in Malaysia. There is no need to panic, because the symptoms are treatable and we just need to be cautious. Let us go through the similarities first.
Same Carrier: Aedes aegypti
Similar Symptoms: Both Zika and Dengue have similar symptoms which include sudden onset of fever, severe headaches, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, rashes, fatigue and nausea.
The incubation period for Zika ranges between approximately 3 to 12 days after being bitten by infected mosquito; whereas that for Dengue ranges from 3 to 14 days after the infected mosquito has bitten, about 4-7 days on an average.
But are there are any differences between Dengue and Zika? Yes, there are and here is the answer.
Zika: The difference is that symptoms of a Zika infection last for a few days or weeks and then they subside. Zika infected people don’t get very sick, happens it is very rare that they may need to go to hospital and they are unlikely to die. However those suffering from dengue usually need hospital care because of the severity of symptoms that persist.
Dengue: In the case of dengue, the fever can last for more than a week, can run up to a few weeks if untreated, in fact and can also lead to bruising and bleeding. The dengue hemorrhagic fever can be dangerous and sometimes even fatal, hence medical attention is very important.
Zika: Evidence has emerged that the Zika virus can actually be transmitted through sex and blood transfusion. This is yet another difference between the two diseases; although sexual transmissions have not been noted frequently for Zika, it is possible.
Dengue: Dengue on the other hand cannot be transmitted to another person sexually.
Zika: Microcephaly is the most popularly known Zika complication, It has also been noted that there exists some link between Zika virus and Guillain-Barre syndrome. This means, that Zika virus can cause long term implications, especially for unborn babies, hence pregnant women need to exercise greater caution especially if they are living in affected areas or when travelling.
Dengue: We all know that Dengue does not result in any complications as mentioned above.
Apart from keeping mosquitoes at bay and keeping yourselves safe from them, people also need to practice safe sex in case of a Zika infection since Zika virus can be transmitted sexually. Also ensure safe practice during blood transfusions.
Ensure you do not give these mosquitoes the environment to propagate and thereby spread the disease. Keep your surroundings clean, keep yourself safe and keep illnesses away!
Toro Pest Management
by Hridya Anand
A biochemist by education who could never put what she studied to good use, finally found GetDoc as a medium to do what she loved - bring information to people using a forum that is dedicated to all things medical. View all articles by Hridya Anand.