The latest Health Scare: Zika Virus Disease!!!


There’s a lot of scary buzz around the Zika virus lately. But how dangerous is it really?  Here's what you need to know and what you should (and shouldn't) be worried about.


Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys . It was subsequently identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.


1. Tropical Areas Are Hot Spots for the Virus...
Zika is spread by the Aedes mosquito, which is known for biting in the daytime and having a particular thirst for humans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel warnings for much of Central and South America and the Caribbean but if you must travelling to these hot spots, you’ll need to layer on extra precautions.The CDC recommends using a repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or lemon-eucalyptus oil to keep yourself protected. If you’re using both sunscreen and repellant ,make sure to apply the repellant after the sunscreen for the best protection.



2.It’s Traveling Around the Globe
One of the downsides of having the ability to jump on a plane and jet off to a far corner of the world is that diseases spread a lot quicker. The Zika virus originated in Africa, and just eight short years ago but the virus is currently present in 22 countries and territories across the Americas and is expected to spread to the U.S. (and every other country in the Western hemisphere where Aedes mosquitos live), according to the Pan American Health Organization. Heed warnings, and take extra travel precautions to help stop the spread.



3. Zika Can Be Dangerous for Pregnant Women and Their Babies
Even though the Even though the virus is NBD for most of us, it can be seriously threatening if you’re pregnant. A mother who contracts the virus before giving birth can pass it to her newborn during delivery, but the real threat is birth defects. The major concern is microcephaly, a condition that causes a baby’s head and brain to be smaller than normal. Other than the physical defect, microcephaly is often associated with developmental delays, seizures, and intellectual disabilities. In late December, Brazilian health officials even warned women not to get pregnant, since 2,400 babies had been born with the condition in 2015, according to CNN. If you are pregnant, all of those anti-mosquito precautions and travel warnings become super-vital.


4. You Can Get It from Having Sex
Theoretically, at least. According to the New York Times, there are currently two documented cases of Zika being found in semen and one documented case of the virus being transmitted sexually. If you are traveling in those regions, and/or think you have been infected, see your doctor first—and then remember [to] practice safe sex with barrier devices like condoms for several weeks thereafter.



 Credit: W.H.O

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