JUN 25, 2016 11:42 AM PDT

What is the Zika Virus?


The Zika virus was first recognized in 1947 in rhesus monkeys in Uganda. Then, it was then identified in 1995 in humans.

The virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. These are the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue and yellow fever. The mosquitos originated in tropical and subtropical zones.

Zika symptoms include conjunctivitis, fever, joint pain, joint pain, headache, and rash. The illness is usually mild and lasts for 2 to 7 days. The disease often goes undiagnosed because about 80 percent of infected people don't show symptoms. Hospitalization is uncommon.

The Zika virus also causes microcephaly. Microcephaly is a rare birth defect where a baby's head is significantly smaller than it should be. In the large majority of cases, they are likely to experience a range of problems such as developmental delays and vision problems. The infant's brain may not have properly developed and their brains sometimes stop growing after their first couple years. While it can be treated, there's no cure.

When a woman is infected with Zika during her pregnancy, her child is likely to have microcephaly. Researchers in Brazil found, in some cases, traces of the Zika virus in the amniotic fluid and brain issue.

The best way to keep yourself safe from the virus is to keep yourself safe from mosquitos.
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
SEP 07, 2018
Videos
SEP 07, 2018
The Therapeutic Potential of Venoms
Over 220,000 species, around 15 percent of the world's described animals, are known to be venomous....
SEP 09, 2018
Space & Astronomy
SEP 09, 2018
The End of NASA's Dawn Mission is Rapidly Approaching
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft ventured away from Earth to study other bodies in the Solar System 11 years ago; that’s three years longer than anyone e...
SEP 17, 2018
Space & Astronomy
SEP 17, 2018
How Common Are Planetary Collisions?
Outer space is nothing short of a galactic free-for-all. Space rocks fly in virtually every direction, sporadically impacting larger objects like moons, pl...
SEP 26, 2018
Videos
SEP 26, 2018
Cancer Immunotherapy
Video illustration about how tumor cells are sensed and destroyed by the immune system and how tumors evolve and detect immune-mediated eliminations, as well as iimmunotherapies associated....
SEP 27, 2018
Videos
SEP 27, 2018
Should Governments Get Involved in Obesity?
Obesity is a growing problem, for children as well as for adults. In the UK, there is a concern about the rates of childhood obesity. Public health officia...
OCT 10, 2018
Videos
OCT 10, 2018
Are Personality Tests Scientifically Accurate?
Personality tests like the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and others are used to find out what a person is like, internally. They measure reac...
Loading Comments...