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All Your Questions Answered About the Zika Virus


What are the symptoms?
In most cases, there are no symptoms at all. In roughly 20 percent of cases, there are minor symptoms such as a low-grade fever, sore body, headache, red eyes and a body rash.

How is it spread?
Zika is mainly spread through the mosquito Aedes aegypti. They are a unique threat because they are very effective at carrying viruses and they are well adapted to thrive alongside humans.

Is there a vaccine or cure?
Because Zika more recently became a threat, there is not much research on the disease. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine of any kind.

Why is it threatening to pregnancy?
Zika is especially threatening to pregnant women because it is thought to be the cause of certain birth defects. It is difficult because the mother may not show symptoms, meaning it could damage the fetus without her knowledge. American women who are pregnant have been advised to stay out of countries where the Zika virus is circulating.

Will the virus spread to the US?
Although the virus has technically entered the United States through travel-associated cases, there are not yet any locally-acquired cases. Officials are predicting that the virus may spread from Puerto Rico to Florida and the other Gulf Coast states. An outbreak would most likely be started if a traveler got the virus and returned home with the Aedes aegypti. Luckily, outbreaks here would most likely be small and local due to housing. There are more window screens and local mosquito control efforts to eliminate the threat. These are conditions that are not in many developing countries, but luckily in America housing construction works in our favor.

 

Thank you to Vox for the informative chart.

Aisling Hegarty

Marquette '18

Don't waste a minute not being happy
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