FEB 05, 2016 11:01 AM PST

Should You Be Worried About The Zika Virus?

WRITTEN BY: Julianne Chiaet

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms include conjunctivitis, fever, joint pain, and rash. The illness is usually mild and lasts for 2 to 7 days. About 80 percent of infected people don't show symptoms, so the disease often goes undiagnosed. Hospitalization is uncommon and death is extremely rare.

HOW IS IT SPREAD?
The Zika virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. These are the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue and yellow fever. They were originally found in tropical and subtropical zones. Because there is no vaccine or treatment available, the best way to avoid getting the disease is to avoid mosquito bites. The Zika virus was also recently found to be sexually transmitted.

WHY SHOULD PREGNANT WOMAN BE CONCERNED?
Microcephaly is a rare birth defect where a baby's head is significantly smaller than the heads of other infants because their brains did not fully develop. Since the virus arrived in Brazil in late 2014, microcephaly cases have increased 20-fold. Brazilian researchers have examined infants with microcephaly and have found, in some cases, traces of the Zika virus in the amniotic fluid and brain issue. Women living in areas affected by Zika have been advised to hold off on getting pregnant.
About the Author
  • Julianne (@JuliChiaet) covers health and medicine for LabRoots. Her work has been published in The Daily Beast, Scientific American, and MailOnline. While primarily a science journalist, she has also covered culture and Japanese organized crime. She is the New York Board Representative for the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). • To read more of her writing, or to send her a message, go to Jchiaet.com
You May Also Like
DEC 08, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 08, 2019
NASA's Parker Solar Probe Reveals Telling Clues About Our Sun
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is currently the closest spacecraft to the Sun today. Being this close gives the spacecraft an unprecedented opportunity to...
DEC 22, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 22, 2019
Ever Wonder What Happens Inside a Clam's Shell?
Most people think of clams as a gooey blob inside of a two-piece shell, but there’s actually a lot more going on inside that shell that you might com...
DEC 31, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 31, 2019
Why Does This Star Dim Unpredictably?
KIC 8462852, also known as Tabby’s Star or the infamous ‘alien megastructure star,’ is peculiar because the star’s light seems to d...
JAN 07, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 07, 2020
Baby Penguins Are Often Bullied to Death by Adults
Most people envision penguins as fun, happy-go-lucky birds residing in the Earth’s chilly polar regions, but that’s not always the case. In fac...
JAN 12, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 12, 2020
This is Why You Shouldn't Mess With Beached Whales
When large whales die, one of two things can happen: 1) their bodies can sink to the bottom of the ocean and go on to support smaller life forms; or 2) the...
JAN 20, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 20, 2020
Horned Lizards Do Anything to Protect Their Eggs From Predators
When a female horned lizard lays her eggs, she finds herself up against several predators that want to devour them. Fortunately, the female horned lizard d...
Loading Comments...