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To know more about Zika

2016-09-01


Zika originated in Africa and appears to have spread slowly until around 2013 and 2014.

It really took off in Brazil last year, and scientists are not yet sure precisely why. It could have to do with some genetic mutations that evolved, or it may be that it was noticed because it hit a big population of people who had no immunity to the virus, so that millions became infected very quickly.

The most common symptom appears to be a raised rash. People also report fever, muscle aches and red eyes. Some patients report they felt really tired and sore, while others don’t remember any symptoms at all.

If you are pregnant or might be, it’s important to see a doctor right away and get tested. There’s no known way to protect a baby whose mother is infected, but doctors want to keep an eye on the pregnancy. Much of the damage Zika can do to a developing fetus is invisible until after the child’s born but if Zika has caused severe brain damage, it will show up on scans by the third trimester.

Men who have been infected need to remember the virus can stay in their semen for weeks or even months. People have also been infected via oral and anal sex with man. Men need to practice safe sex for at least six months after a Zika infection to be sure they are not infecting their partners. That means using a condom every time, the CDC and World Health organization say.

There's no cure for Zika infection but it usually clears up in about a week and doctors believe people are immune after that.


All evidence suggests that most people do not need to worry about Zika.

"About four out of five people with infection show no symptoms," Frieden said Friday.

The people who need to worry most are pregnant women or women who could become pregnant.

Zika’s been shown to because severe birth defects  in babies born to women who are infected while pregnant. And because half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, any woman who might potentially become pregnant needs to worry — and so do her sexual partners, because Zika can be passed on by sex.

Zika can also cause Guillain-Barré syndrome and other neurological complications in rare instances, just as many other infections do. There’s not any good way to predict who’s most at risk of these complications, so the advice is for everyone to avoid getting infected, if at all possible.

Stay away from areas where mosquitoes are circulating. But that’s not always possible.

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