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Zika virus: What is it? Symptoms, prevention!


It’s possible that many of us had never even heard of Zika virus until recently when it made its way into Brazil. The virus has been spreading rapidly over the past few months, causing serious health concerns.

Amid fears about the possible spread of the virus – a viral disease – across the US, here are five key facts that you need to know about the virus disease:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that the virus, mainly transmitted by the bite of Aedes mosquitoes, is likely to spread across nearly all of the Americas. According to WHO, twenty-one countries and territories of the Americas have reported cases of the virus since transmission was first detected in Brazil in May 2015.

Five key facts about the virus:

The virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito – the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.

Symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya. Most common symptoms include – mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, normally lasting for 2-7 days.

Currently, there are no vaccine or medications available to prevent or treat Zika infections. The best way to prevent the virus is avoiding mosquito bites.

People infected with the virus should get plenty of rest, drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration and treat pain and fever with common medicines.

Zika virus was first detected in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys, and subsequently identified in in humans in 1952. Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

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