There have been countless news articles and headlines about the latest global epidemic – the zika virus. The news has not been good and this has caused a lot of anxiety, tension and fear.
You could be nervous about being infected. The terror aspect of the disease keeps rising as more people areinfected and the bad news keeps coming. However, the more informed you are the less anxious you will be.
So, what kind of information should you look out for?
- You need to know what the virus is
- How it spreads
- Who is more likely to get infected
- Where the virus comes from
- And finally why humans get infected from the virus
What is the virus?
The virus exhibits itself as an infection. Other symptoms include fever, pains in your joints and muscles, your head will hurt and you might get rashes in your skin. These symptoms have been reported to last for about three days.
How does it spread?
The zika virus spreads through infected mosquitos from tropical areas. The mosquitos are called the Aedes genus. The worrying thing about these mosquitos is they also spread yellow fever, dengue fever and chikungunya fever. The virus can also be spread through sexual transmission. This is a very worrying aspect of this disease because it puts couples at risk of infecting each other.
Who can get infected?
The sad news is that anyone can get infected from igmzika, so you need to take certain precautions to avoid getting infected. Now that you know what the virus is and how it spreads you can avoid the high risk areas.Pregnant women especially are advised against being exposed to the virus, as it causes birth defects in unborn babies.
Where does it come from?
The zika virus was first discovered in monkeys in Uganda in 1947. The first human cases were reported in 1952 in Uganda and Tanzania. Cases of the zika virus in humans have been reported in Africa, America, Asia and countries in the Pacific. As more cases are reported the more deadly the virus becomes. However, you should rest assured that scientists and researchers are making advances.
Why do humans get the virus?
The virus spreads in humans through mosquito bites. An infected person can also pass it on to their spouse or partner sexually. The infection can be found in the host’s blood.
All this information should alleviate some of your fears about the virus. You now know what the virus is, where it started and how it spreads. It is important for you to be aware of those regions where the virus has been identified as travel to those places puts you at a greater risk. You also need to be aware of your loved ones who have travelled to those high risk areas as you could be exposed to the virus through them.However, fear should not stop you from living your life.
Alistair Campbel is a medical doctor who specializes in tropical diseases. He has written many articles about igmzika. You can find his published studies in websites like MyBioSource.com