The key difference between zika and dengue is that zika is a viral disease that is known to be transmitted through mosquitoes, sex or blood transfusion, while dengue is a viral disease that is known to be transmitted only through mosquitoes.
Zika and dengue are two mosquito-borne viral diseases in humans. Mosquito-borne viral diseases naturally spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. These diseases are mainly found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The distribution of these diseases is determined through complex demographic, social or environmental factors. Zika, West Nile viral disease, Chikungunya, and dengue are several viral diseases transmitting to humans via mosquito vectors.
What is Zika?
Zika is a viral disease that is mainly spread through mosquitoes. But it can also spread through sex and blood transfusion. For most people, it is just a mild infection and is not harmful. However, it can be a very serious disease in pregnant women as it causes birth defects; it causes microcephaly in children. Microcephaly is a medical condition where the head of the baby is much smaller than expected. Babies with microcephaly have problems such as developmental delays, hearing loss, vision problems, seizures, intellectual disability, and feeding problems, etc.
Zika outbreaks have been reported in the South and Central America Pacific region, Caribbean, Africa, part of South and Southeast Asia. Zika virus belongs to the family Flaviviridae and the genus Flavivirus. It has a positive-sense single-stranded RNA.
The commonly reported symptoms of zika virus infection are rash, itching all over the body, high temperature, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, red eyes, and pain behind the eyes. The diagnosis is through a laboratory test of blood or other fluids such as urine and semen. There are no specific treatments for zika infection. Drinking plenty of water and taking paracetamol can relieve the symptoms. A DNA-based Zika vaccine was approved in 2017 for phase 2 clinical trials.
What is Dengue?
Dengue is a viral disease known to be transmitted only through mosquitoes. Dengue virus is the cause of dengue fever. It is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae and genus Flavivirus. Their usual vector is mosquitoes of genus Aedes; Aedes aegypti.
The symptoms typically begin after 14 days of infections. The symptoms include high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pain and skin rash. It takes two to seven days to recover. However, in a small proportion of the population, the disease develops into severe haemorrhagic fever resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets, and leakage of blood plasma. The disease can also develop into dengue shock syndrome that results in dangerously low blood pressure. The diagnosis is through virus isolation in cell cultures, nucleic acid detection by PCR or viral antigen detection or serology.
In 2016, a partially effective vaccine for dengue was approved and commercialized. It was made by the French company Sanofi and marked by the name “dengvaxia”. The vaccine was found to be 66 % effective. But it is only recommended for individuals who have had prior dengue infection. Other treatments include taking acetaminophen and drinking plenty of fluids.
What are the Similarities Between Zika and Dengue?
- Zika and dengue are two mosquito-borne viral diseases in humans.
- Both diseases can spread through mosquitoes of the genus Aedes.
- These diseases are due to a virus belonging to the family Flaviviridae and genus
- Viruses have a positive sense single-stranded RNA.
- They have common symptoms such as conjunctivitis, rashes, muscle pain, headaches, and fever.
What is the Difference Between Zika and Dengue?
Zika is a viral disease transmitted through mosquitoes, sex, or blood transfusion, while dengue is a viral disease transmitted only through mosquitoes. So, this is the key difference between zika and dengue. Furthermore, zika leads to microcephaly in babies whereas dengue does not.
The below infographic lists the differences between zika and dengue in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Zika vs Dengue
Mosquito-borne diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Approximately 700 million people get a mosquito-borne illness each year. It results in over one million deaths. Zika and dengue are two mosquito-borne viral diseases in humans. Zika is a viral disease that is known to be transmitted through mosquitoes, sex, or blood transfusion, while dengue is a viral disease that is known to be transmitted only through mosquitoes. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between zika and dengue.