A few years ago, panic installed, when the Zika virus was linked to babies born with microcephaly in Brazil. The virus has no cure and people get infected with the virus through mosquito bites or sexual intercourse with somebody carrying the virus.
More on the virus
The virus is carried by the same mosquito which carries the West Nile yellow fever and the dengue virus. It was identified in 1947 in Africa and not many humans contracted the virus until 2007, when cases of human infestation were announced in the island of Yap (Micronesia). This happening led to the spreading of the virus across the Pacific Island and South America.
How do people get infected?
The virus is primarily spread to humans through infected mosquitoes bites. Also, during unprotected intercourse with someone infected, even if they do not display any sympthoms at all. Pregnant woman also can pass the infection to their unborn baby.
So far, a list of countries, in which the population is at risk, includes countries such as: Mexico, South and Central American countries, the Caribbean Area and areas in the U.S.
Consequences of the Zika virus
While the infection is not lethal to the human body, for pregnant women is really dangerous. It can cause miscarriage if the pregnant women get infected during the first trimester.
Another consequence is on fetuses. It causes birth defects such as small head associated with stunned growth, delay in physical and intellectual development (learning, hearing and vision impairment).
Also, the virus can cause male infertility and the Guillann -Barré syndrome. This syndrome causes muscle weakness and paralysis. The immune system starts to attack the nerve cells.
Symptoms can be very mild in some cases and the population should be on the lookout for fever, rashes or headaches. Try to avoid the countries on the list, use insecticide with DEET and long clothes covering your body.