9 Facts You Need to Know About the Zika Virus

zika-virus-facts

Viruses are small infectious agents that can infect every living thing, from plants and animals down to the smallest bacterium. Because of this, they always have the potential to be dangerous to human life. They infect and take over cells like pirates hijacking a ship.

 
 

 

 
 

One of these diseases currently in the media is the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through being bit by an infected Aedes aegypti species mosquito. In the recent months, you’d have to live under a rock to avoid hearing all the media uproar surrounding the Zika virus. As with any health scare, there’s a lot of fear and confusion, and people have a lot of questions.

 
 

 

 
 

This article aims to sift through all the fervor by addressing the key points of information you need to know.

 
 

 

 
 

Here are 9 facts you should know about the Zika virus:

 
 
 

1. It’s not a new disease

 
 
 

The fact that the Zika virus is new news to many does not mean that it has not been around for some time. The Zika virus has been making background appearances since 1976 in African and Asian countries.

 
 
 

2. Not just in Central and South America

 

The Zika virus has made its debut in Central and South America, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is now making its way to the United States and is causing concern. In fact, recent reports say that it will strike first in the US through states outlining the Gulf of Mexico.

 
 
 

3. A global outbreak is imminent

 

Unfortunately, a global breakout is imminent. According to the CDC, the Zika virus has spread to dozens of countries throughout the Americas, Pacific Islands and Africa. The virus is not yet in the US, but there are cases of US citizens acquiring the disease while traveling to affected areas.

 
 
 

4. No cure is known

 

The worst thing about the Zika virus is that there is no known cure or vaccine. However, on a positive note, this does not mean that the disease cannot be managed.

 
 
 

5. Concern for pregnant women and children

 

Pregnant women are the most common victims, and infected pregnant women can suffer from stillbirths and miscarriages. Babies born from mothers infected with the virus can suffer from Microcephaly, which causes small developments of the brain and head. This is why women in areas prone to the Zika virus are being asked to delay their pregnancies and undergo tests beforehand, if possible.

 
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6. You can contract the virus in several ways

 

The Zika virus, also known as ZikaV, is caused and spread by the aegypti mosquito (one of the many relatives of the anopheles mosquito known to cause malaria). The Zika virus can even be passed through sexual contact, as well as blood transfusions.

 
 
 

7. Symptoms may not be detectable

 

The Zika virus is not always detectable, and as few as one out of four infected people show any indication of the virus. Symptoms include headaches, joint pain, rashes, red eyes and fever. However, these symptoms are common and can indicate many other diseases, making ZikaV tricky to spot. The symptoms may also be mild in some cases and simply go away on their own. In other words, one can be a victim of the Zika virus and not even know it.

 
 
 

8. Keep Zika from spreading

 

The virus is caused by mosquitoes, and mosquitoes love stagnant water and damp areas. Eliminate these spots from your home and surrounding environments to kill the larvae and break their production cycle. This includes removing puddles, buckets and other items or areas that can accumulate stagnant water. One of the most extreme ways to prevent the Zika virus is to move away from afflicted areas, such as areas with constant swampy conditions.

 
 
 

9. Prevention starts at home

 

You can protect your loved ones in the home by installing screens on windows and other air inlets. Children and pregnant mothers should sleep under treated mosquito nets to keep the bites away. You can also wear long sleeves and pants to cover up as much skin as possible.

 
 

 

 
 

The CDC and other medical personnel around the world are working tirelessly on vaccines and finding a cure for ZikaV. The fact that the disease can be kept at bay is good news for the time being, and there are ways to deal with the virus from the prevention stage. You can take precautions to prevent being infected by avoiding muddy and damp areas. You can also keep you and your family safe by using repellants and sleeping nets. Be smart and play it safe, and you can help protect yourself and your family from the Zika virus.

 
 
 

The post 9 Facts You Need to Know About the Zika Virus appeared first on Yogi Approved.

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