10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE ZIKA VIRUS
On Feb. 1, 2016, the World Health Organization took the rare step by declaring the spread of the Zika virus an international public health emergency.
Check out 10 things to know about the disease.
The virus was first seen in humans in 1952 in Uganda and Tanzania. Outbreaks have been seen around the globe: in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.
Zika virus disease is caused by a virus that is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.
Symptoms of the disease include mild headaches, maculopapular rash, fever, malaise, conjunctivitis, and arthralgia.
The disease shows symptoms within 2 to 7 days of exposure. A small percentage of those people can develop complications from the virus.
5. COUNTRIES AFFECTED
According to the Pan American Health Organization, the number of countries that have reported transmission of the disease has doubled from Dec. 1, 2015 to Jan. 17, 2016. Countries that have confirmed cases of the disease are Brazil, Barbados, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Suriname, and Venezuela.
The best way to prevent the disease is to limit mosquito to human contact. This means eliminating the mosquitoes where they live and breed.
7. LIMIT CONTACT
Other ways to limit mosquito to human contact is through the use of insect repellent, sleeping under mosquito netting, and closing doors and windows or using screens in the windows.
Mosquitoes breed in water so it is very important to remove or cover buckets of water or anywhere else there might be standing water.
9. VACCINE STATUS
Currently, this is no treatment or vaccine for the disease.
- PRENATAL CARE
Pregnant women have the same risk as the rest of the population of being infected with Zika virus, which is transmitted by the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. Many women may remain unaware they have the virus, as they may not develop any symptoms. Only one in four people infected with Zika develops symptoms, and in those with symptoms, the illness is usually mild.