Zika Virus - What You Need to Know
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What is Zika Virus?
It is a virus that is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The mosquito is found in subtropical climates. Symptoms of Zika are relatively mild, except that recently the numbers of pregnant women with the virus have drastically increased. In 2015 in Brazil alone, there were, "3,500 cases of microcephaly with 46 infant deaths." This is what caused officials to take notice.
Are you at risk?
You are if you live or have travelled to any of the above mentioned areas. If you believe you are infected seek treatment right away. Symptoms include: fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes.
How can you protect yourself?
While there is no current cure for Zika Virus, the CDC says you can protect yourself by avoiding mosquito bites. They recommend the following:
- Use insect repellents
- Wear long sleeves and long pants when possible
- Use window screens to prevent mosquitos from entering your home
- Empty standing water from flower pots or buckets
What's being done?
As of Tuesday, President Obama has called for the, "rapid development of tests, vaccines and treatments to fight the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus." The White House said in a statement, "The president emphasized the need to accelerate research efforts to make available better diagnostic tests, to develop vaccines and therapeutics, and to ensure that all Americans have information about the Zika virus and steps they can take to better protect themselves from infection."
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