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Everything you need to know about Zika Virus

Since Zika Virus has crossed the country’s threshold we need to be on our guard. For this, we have to know certain factoids about Zika Virus. Here are these,

What exactly is the Zika virus?

The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness spread primarily by the yellow fever (Aedes aegypti) mosquito. The Zika virus was first discovered in Ugandan monkeys in 1947. It spread to the South Pacific and caused an outbreak on Yap Island in the Federated States of Micronesia in 2007. The island’s population was too small for scientists to observe whether the virus caused side effects like birth defects or neurological damage.

Symptoms: fever, joint pain, red eyes, and rash are often ignored or considered the flu.

In early 2015, Brazil experienced a spike in Zika cases, and the virus quickly spread throughout other parts of the Americas. It could have been introduced in 2014, when Brazil hosted the FIFA World Cup and an international canoeing competition. The Zika virus is now in 23 countries in the Americas.

By 2016, health officials in Brazil had noticed another disturbing trend: Rates of microcephaly, a rare birth defect in which an infant is born with an abnormally small head, were rising rapidly. More than 4,000 cases of microcephaly have been reported in Brazil since authorities began investigating the surge in October. Fewer than 150 cases were reported in 2014.

How would I know if I had Zika?

Most people don’t know when they’re infected, a reason the virus is difficult to track.

Symptoms are usually mild. Along with fever, joint pain, rash, or conjunctivitis (red eyes), an affected person might experience headache and muscle pain. Hospitalization is uncommon, and symptoms generally only last up to a week. However, if you notice symptoms after you’ve visited an affected region, see a doctor right away.

Can the Zika virus be prevented or cured?

There isn’t a vaccine or treatment for the Zika virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) stated it is taking steps to develop a vaccine, though it’s unlikely one will be available this year.

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