Zika: the facts

So, what are the important facts about the Zika Virus? For those of you who remain unaware, the Zika Virus has been making headlines during recent weeks, and when the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it a global health emergency, it caused panic around the world.

“Zika Virus is transferred through the female Aedes mosquito, which requires blood to produce eggs, and infects those it feeds off”

The Zika Virus originated in the Zika Forest in Uganda. Right now, the Zika disease has left its mark mostly in the Americas and in Africa, in countries like Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico, and the Pacific Islands.

Furthermore, the disease is suspected to be linked to a condition called Microencephaly, after babies were born in Brazil with head and brain abnormailites, such as a smaller head size and underdeveloped brains. In the most severe cases, the brain is too underdeveloped and unable to provide vital support for the growth development of the baby, which can cause mental disabilities or even be fatal.

Zika Virus is transferred through the female Aedes mosquito, which requires blood to produce eggs, and infects those it feeds off. Latest groundwork by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that this infection can be transmitted from an infected individual to a healthy person through sexual contact. It is highly possible that the Zika Virus will spread to Asia, considering that most parts of Asia are located near the Equator and mosquitos, especially the Aedes mosquitos, thrived in tropical areas.

“The disease is suspected to be linked to a condition called Microencephaly, after babies were born in Brazil with head and brain abnormailites”

As for now, Zika Virus has not been proven to cause any deaths. However, it can be identified through symptoms like joint pains, mild fever, muscle pain and eye redness. To counter this outbreak, the WHO has been working with countries to minimise the impact. To date, there has been no specific vaccine or cure to completely eliminate the virus. The recommended action to take is constant hydration, plenty of rest and over-the-counter medication to break the fever.

For people travelling to the afflicted areas, it always pays to be cautious, hence wearing long-sleeves and long pants or applying mosquito repellent goes a long way.

Zika map

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