What are facts about zika virus?

Zika has been known to exist since 1947, but was long considered to be a minor disease that causes only mild illness. The mosquito, Aedes aegypti is spreading the Zika. This is not some jungle-dwelling insect that rarely comes into contact with people. It is one of those animals, like cockroaches, pigeons and urban foxes, that thrives in built-up areas. The virus can be transmitted by sexual contact as well by the mosquito.
It will take a lot of money and a very long time to produce a vaccine.

It does not need natural water sources to breed as it can lay eggs in the small and plentiful pools of stagnant water, such as gutters or flower pots, found in cities . The larvae have been seen in bottle caps filled with water.


Late last year (2015), Zika became linked to a dramatic increase in Brazil of microcephaly, a birth defect in which babies are born with extremely small heads. Children that do survive (many don't) face intellectual disability and development delays. Experts now believe the virus is linked to a broader set of complications in pregnancy, including miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and eye problems

Zika’s role in causing birth defects is confirmed. It is the first mosquito-borne illness to do that. The heads in these babies are so small is due to the fact that the virus destroys the gray matter of the brain. This layer of gray matter is found covering the brain.

Doctors have known for years that Zika virus is associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome, in which the body attacks its own nerves, causing paralysis.

But a study released also links Zika to a second autoimmune disorder called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. It resembles multiple sclerosis and involves a swelling of the brain and spinal cord. New studies also show that the Zika virus appears to hone in on brain cells and kill them.

The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. But only a small number of people get these. Many have none or just a mild headache.