The Zika Virus Pendamic
The Zika Virus is a fast growing epidemic throughout South American countries like Brazil. The Zika virus has multiple symptoms, the most common being fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes, as well as muscle pain and headache. The start of symptoms after contact is not known for certain but assumed to be a few days to a week) . Only about 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill. The symptoms are persistent and in full affect anywhere from a couple days to a week.
The Zika virus has symptoms that are similar to dengue and chikungunya, all three including Zika are transmitted by mosquito bites. Blood tests can look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya. There is no vaccine to prevent or specific medicine to treat Zika infections however the WHO is coordinating with several NGO’s the development of a vaccine.
Brazil is considered “ground zero” for the Zika virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and is now in over 20 countries. The virus is raising concerns about its impact on Brazilian tourism, which supports nearly one-tenth of Brazil’s economy. International airlines have already started allowing pregnant women to reschedule their flights to the region. Worries about tourism are especially acute as the Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero are slated for August.
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