An incubation period of Zika disease is not studied well, with a high probability it takes a period from 1 to 3 days. Symptoms are expressed softly and are similar to those of other infectious diseases. The course of infection is always acute and there is no chronic form of the disease. Zika disease passes quickly enough, but the virus is able to influence the genetic structure of the human organism and cause rare but dangerous complications.
80% of infected patients demonstrate no specific symptoms and no complaints and often these people are not even aware they are infected. The remaining 20% of patients experience the symptoms that are similar to those caused by dengue or chikungunya viruses. Severe cases are extremely rare and are mainly observed in the background of already existing diseases that weaken the organism’s protective abilities. Zika virus is dangerous for small children most of all. The child may suffer from convulsions, paralysis or even cerebral palsy.
The clinical picture of Zika disease includes the following symptoms:
• a minor headache;
• general weakness;
• itchy skin rash that first appears on the face and then spreads all over the body;
• pain in muscles and joints with possible swelling of the small joints;
• conjunctivitis, i.e. an inflammation of the conjunctiva;
• pain in the eyes;
• fear of bright light.
If the disease affected a pregnant woman, it’s particularly dangerous. Since the virus penetrates the fetus organism, it may provoke appearance of various defects. The most frequent one is microcephaly that means a child is born with a decreased brain mass and reduced skull. Such condition is accompanied by a delay in mental development of the child, followed by imbecility or idiocy.
Adults were reported to have single cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome that provokes a formation of an autoimmune process with a severe muscle weakness. Usually, the manifestations of this syndrome disappear spontaneously without residual effects.
The specific treatment aimed at the destruction of the pathogen for Zika fever does not exist so far.
Treatment consists of a bed rest, increased consumption of liquid to reduce the level of intoxication, as well as consumption of easily digestible food with vitamins. To reduce the body temperature and severity of pain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be used. Typically, after the general recommendations are carried out symptoms of Zika fever reduce in a few days and completely disappear 7-8 days after the onset of the disease.