If you’ve been paying any attention to the news the last few weeks, you’ve no doubt heard about the zika virus as it rapidly spreads across the Americas.
But what is this mysterious illness? And why is it suddenly spreading so quickly?
Zika is spread through mosquito bites, when an infected person is bit and then the mosquito goes on to bite someone else. It’s a tricky virus to track and treat because infected individuals often show no symptoms at all; that does not mean, however, that they are not capable of spreading the disease to others. This is what makes Zika so dangerous.
If individuals do show symptoms, they are typically similar to those of a flu or a bad cold — low-grade fever, body aches, headache and sometimes a rash. On rare occasions, an infected person may experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The virus has also been linked to a potentially deadly neurological condition, but these cases are extremely rare.
The real danger of Zika, as you may have heard, is that pregnant women infected with the virus may give birth to infants with a severe birth defect called microcephaly, the symptoms of which include a small head, incomplete brain development and early death.
To learn more about Zika virus, it’s causes, treatment and prevention, check out the article below.
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