Zika, dengue, and Chikungunya virus are common in tropical regions. These viruses are spread and transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Upon infection, common symptoms include, arthralgia, myalgia and conjunctivitis. As both the transmission vector and clinical symptoms are similar, it is crucial to differentiate between Zika, dengue, and Chikungunya at an early stage.
Zika virus, is a RNA flavivirus transmitted through daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, such as A. aegypti and A. albopictus. The name originates from the Zika Forest in Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947. The infection, known as Zika fever, often causes none or only mild symptoms and is treated by rest. However Zika fever in pregnant women can cause abnormal brain development of the fetuses by mother to child transmission which may result in miscarriage or microcephaly. Since the 1950s, it has been known to occur within a narrow equatorial belt from Africa to Asia. In 2014, the virus spread eastward across the Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia than to Ester Island and in 2015 to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, where the Zika outbreak has reached pandemic levels. The illness cannot yet be prevented by drugs or vaccines.
Dengue virus, is a RNA flavivirus transmitted through daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, such as A. aegypti and A. albopictus. Symptoms typically begin three to fourteen days after infection. This may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash. Recovery generally takes less than two to seven days. In a small proportion of cases, the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs. The virus has four different types; infection with one type usually gives lifelong immunity to that type, but only short-term immunity to the others. Subsequent infection with a different type increases the risk of severe complications. Dengue has become a global problem since the Second World War and is common in more than 110 countries. Each year between 50 and 528 million people are infected and approximately 20,000 die.
Chikungunya virus, is an RNA virus related to the alphavirus genus, and Togaviridae family. The virus is passed to humans through daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, such as A. aegypti and A. albopictus. The disease features the sudden onset of fever two to four days after exposure. The fever usually lasts two to seven days, while accompanying joint pains typically last weeks or months but sometimes years. The mortality rate is a little less than 1 in 1000, with the elderly or those with underlying chronic medical problems most likely having severe complications. Animal reservoirs of the virus include monkeys, birds, cattle, and rodents. This is in contrast to Dengue, for which primates are the only hosts. Since 2004, the disease has occurred in outbreaks in Asia, Europe and the Americas
The NanoCHIP® ZIKV/DENV/CHIKV panel performed on the NanoCHIP® system, is an automated qualitative in vitro diagnostic test as an aid to the evaluation of infections with zika, dengue (I-IV) and chikungunya viruses in human serum and plasma.
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