We are going through a global crisis. And now with the cases of Zika virus coming up, people might have their queries about the health insurance policy.
A common question would be that whether the health insurance covers Zika virus treatment or not. In this article, let us have a brief understanding of the Zika virus. We will also discuss how the health insurance policy
will cover the Zika virus hospitalization costs.
What is Zika Virus?
Zika virus is the type of virus that is spread by Aedes species mosquitoes. The mosquitoes carrying Zika are often active during the day but can also bite at night.
The Zika infection is mild and does not cause many symptoms. Yet, women who are pregnant should be careful as it does cause birth defects.
How Does the Zika Virus Spread?
Anyone who has Zika can spread it when they are traveling from one place to another. In case they get bitten, it can spread the virus to other mosquitoes.
A pregnant woman who is infected with Zika can pass it to the unborn baby as well.
The Zika virus can also be spread via sexual contact even if the person shows no symptoms. However, it is often spread through a bite from a mosquito infected.
What are the Symptoms of the Zika Virus?
Most people who get infected with Zika do not develop symptoms. The incubation period of the Zika virus is somewhere around 03-14 days.
The main symptoms are conjunctivitis, fever, painful joints, and rash. These symptoms will be mild and start within a week or so after the bite. There could be a possibility of having a headache and muscle pain. Typically, the symptoms last for 02-07 days.
How is the Zika Virus Treated?
As of now, there is no appropriate treatment for the Zika virus. The symptoms go away on their own after almost a week or so. The diagnosis of the Zika virus can be confirmed by lab tests of either blood or body fluids like semen or urine.
Treating the symptoms will be of much help. The following should be practiced:
- Consult a doctor. Do not take medicine without consultation.
- Take proper rest and eat healthily.
- Increase the fluid intake.
Will the Health Insurance Cover Zika Virus Hospitalization Costs?
Yes, the health insurance policy does offer protection against the Zika virus.
A health insurance plan in India is designed to cover the incurred hospitalization expenses for all kinds of diseases/illnesses unless it is disease-specific.
The health insurance policy offers cover for hospitalization and out-patient expenses regardless of the diseases/illness. The health insurance plans usually cover the infections leading to an illness. Here, the Zika virus is a kind of infection-borne illness.
Will Zika Virus be Considered a Pre-existing Illness?
The Zika virus does take a few days to show the symptoms. However, Zika virus-related claims cannot be rejected if it requires hospitalization.
It is important to check with the health insurance company for the same. A comprehensive health insurance policy usually offers cover for pre and post-hospitalization expenses, ambulance charges, OPD costs, and so forth. It also largely depends on the types of health insurance
and the sum insured selected.
Precautionary Measures to Prevent Zika Virus
As of now, there is no vaccination available to treat the Zika virus. It remains an active area of research. In case you are traveling or outdoors protect yourself from mosquito bites. Here is a rundown of the precautionary measures that will help to prevent the Zika virus:
- Wear clothes that can cover as much of the body.
- Use insect repellent with DEET from time to time. For children who are older than two months use repellent that has 10-30% DEET
- In case you sleep in the daylight hours, sleep under the mosquito nets, or use liquid vaporizers.
- Wear light color clothes. The dark colors hold more heat in comparison to the light colors and mosquitoes are attracted to heat.
- Do not leave open containers of water or puddles. Remember, mosquitoes mostly breed in standing water.
- Avoid visiting areas where there is an outbreak. Pregnant women need to be extra careful.
The Final Words
These are trying times and amidst the global pandemic, we are in this together.
Let us not forget how strong we have been since the outbreak of COVID-19. Take precautions and maintain hygiene, we can prevent Zika virus spread as well.
Check your health insurance policy and see if you need to modify the existing plan.