The Zika Virus Is Spreading Across America. As the World Health Organization declared Zika a top priority in early February, the virus epidemic is getting worse.
There is a link between the virus and a serious birth defect, called microcephaly, which has been proved by a couple of scientific studies. Scientists found out that the Zika infection may have tragic consequences, even death, which affects children and adults, not just fetuses. It is now clear that the virus is spread not just by mosquitoes, but through sexual contact as well.
Zika may have a potentially devastating impact on society. The threat of an epidemic remains high in the United States. The first death caused by this virus was recorded in the US earlier in July.
As of last week, the Center for Disease Control found 1,305 cases of Zika in America.
Zika is a mosquito-borne virus which can lead to severe defects in a developing fetus. These include brain damage, hearing and vision loss and stunted growth if the mother is infected during pregnancy. 80% of those infected have mild symptoms like fever, conjunctivitis or rash, or no symptoms at all.
Most cases of Zika in the States are linked to people who travel across the world. It is important for people not to travel to countries where there are Zika outbreaks. Zika has been reported in Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands for years, but recently it’s a worldwide pandemic.
Here are some ways of protecting yourself and the environment from the mosquito- borne infection:
-Avoid areas where there are many mosquitoes.
-Wear loose, bright-colored long clothing to cover your legs and arms when you’re going out.
-Remove sources of standing water around the house and yard to prevent mosquitos from breeding.
-Use a registered mosquito repellent, containing DEET, when you are outdoors.
So far, scientists know that the strain of Zika in America is different from the one in Brazil. In people who have their immune systems weakened, such as pregnant women, the Zika virus can spread to the fetus and infect it, instead of disappearing in two weeks, as it normally would. Many drug companies are currently trying their hand at a cure for the Zika infection.
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