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The now infamous virus, the Zika virus, was discovered in 1947 in Africa. It has traveled through other two continents, Asia and now America.
Scientists had found more than 600 types of the virus by 2002, but only ten of them were found in humans. While the Asian and African populations have a built up immunity to the virus, the Americas have a more vulnerable population. The people infected with the virus might not even know they are because they do not correctly interpret the symptoms. The
common symptoms are fevers, rashes, joint pains or conjunctivitis.
Since the virus arrived to America, two conditions are on the rise: macrocephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Scientists aren’t sure if it’s due to the virus but the concern is still rising. “The more we learn, the worse it gets..” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on March 10.
It’s been very difficult for scientists to map the virus and discover it’s source because as Zika is a flavivirus like dengue and yellow fever, being exposed to one virus can give us antibodies against another. This is making it very hard to track the disease.
As you may know, mosquitoes are the carrier of the disease and they mostly attack in tropical areas. However, the virus can be also transmitted through sexual intercourse and blood transfusions.
Ultimately, here’s what we know:
– There is no vaccine for the virus yet.
– We must avoid mosquitoes bites.
– Mosquitoes that spread the virus attack mostly during day time.
– Besides spreading Zika, they also carry Dengue and chikungunya viruses.
We all hope scientists find the prevention or the cure for it.