A mosquito-borne virus has become a growing concern for Americans and people throughout the world. The Zika virus can affect anyone for up to a week and present with fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes, and other symptoms. However 80% of people afflicted with the virus have no symptoms at all.
Zika virus is especially dangerous to pregnant women because it has been associated with babies being born with microcephaly, a neurodevelopmental disorder where the brain does not fully develop and presents with a disproportionately small head. The World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed it a “global health threat.” This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Emergency Operations Center moved to Level 1, the highest level, due to risk of Zika virus transmission in the US.
The most recent Zika virus outbreak began in Brazil in 2015 and is transmitted through Aedes mosquitos. There is no vaccine to prevent or protect people from the virus, and treatment is typical for the flu: plenty of rest, fluids, and fever/pain relievers as needed. Once diagnosed, it is necessary to further avoid mosquito bites