What is Zika?
According to Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
The Zika virus is spread to people through the bite of infected mosquitos. About 1 in 5 people who get infected with Zika virus will show symptoms.
It can also be spread during sex by an infected man.
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They commonly include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes, and unfortunately, there is no vaccine or treatment. Some people who contract the virus and get sick only experience mild symptoms for about a week, but is less likely to fall seriously ill or die from the infection.
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Infection during pregnancy
Babies can experience the microcephaly birth defect due to an infected pregnant mother. According to Parenting bits:
Microcephaly is a rare neurological condition in which an infant’s head is significantly smaller than the heads of other children of the same age and sex.
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The brain starts to develop abnormally in the womb causing a child to have the microcephaly brain defect. There isn’t treatment for this either and more research still needs to be done.
The first Zika outbreak was reported in May 2015 in Brazil and since then over 20 other countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean are infected, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The aedes aegypti mosquitoes that spread Zika can be found throughout the tropics in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Doctors fear that outbreaks of the virus is more serious than they originally thought.
Currently, there is no vaccines or treatment for this infection, but protecting yourself from mosquito bites is the best way to stay safe.
To view some prevention tips, watch this video Dr. Schuchat made about the Zika virus:
For more information, visit CDC.gov.