Zika Virus

Zika virus is a disease spread by mosquitos. In most cases, the symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes, and they usually last less than a week. However, the disease is more dangerous to unborn babies, as it can cause serious birth defects.

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Why is there no cure for the zika virus?

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There is hope for a vaccine, though and the first trials have started (2016).
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How does the Zika virus spread?

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Usually through mosquito bites, through other ways. ========== See the Expert answer for most of the other ways. Not mentioned is that males can also pass it to other males through fellatio and anal intercourse.
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Who discovered the zika virus?

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The earliest journal reference I've been able to locate so far is an article in 1952: Dick GW, Kitchen SF, Haddow AJ. Zika virus. I. Isolations and serological specificity. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1952;46:509-520 Which states: " Zika virus was first isolated from a sentinel rhesus monkey placed in the Zika Forest near Lake Victoria, Uganda in April 1947." By then the name was already established, but it doesn't say who first provided the name. It is possible that one of the authors of the 1952 paper might have been involved in the initial identification but that's, at best, a guess.
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How concerned should we be about zika virus?

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It is a cause of significant concern for those living in tropical areas where the mosquitoes that are the primary vector for spreading the virus are active year-round. Pregnant women who contract the virus will likely infect their unborn babies with the virus where it may (depending on when it is during the pregnancy) cause serious birth defects and/or cause miscarriages due to those birth defects. Since most of countries that are in the tropical regions of the planet already have significant health and economic issues. If you live in the tropics you should be very concerned. If you feel compassion for those living there you should be very concerned on their behalf. The further away from the tropics you are, the less risk there is from the virus. Mosquitoes are active for less of the year and the type of mosquitoes that carry the virus are less prevalent as you move away from the tropics. As in the tropics, the risk is for pregnant women. If you travel to areas with a significant presence of the virus you are at risk to become infected but unless you are pregnant or interacting closely with someone who is pregnant it would not be of much concern.
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Where did the zika virus start?

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Although it may not be certain where it started, it was first isolated and identified from infections in the Zika forest of Uganda (hence the name given to the virus).
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Why did Zika start?

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The Zika Virus Started because of the infection of mosquitoes these mosquitoes can transmit the virus to tourists in tropical areas.
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Did a college kid cure Zika?

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Not quite, but a group of college researchers from Florida State University (FSU), Johns Hopkins University, and the National Institutes of Health have made a couple of major breakthroughs. FSU Professor of Biological Science Hengli Tang helped to lead the research. They found that the tapeworm medication, niclosamide, stops replication of Zika in the body so that fetal brains are not damaged. Niclosamide is an FDA approved tapeworm medication that is already considered safe for use in pregnant women. This is being considered a major find. They also found some promising results from the antiviral medication, emricasan.
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What does a Zika bite look like?

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The bite from a Zika infected mosquito does not look any different than a regular mosquito bite. Most people that are infected with Zika will never even show symptoms. However, when symptoms do appear, they are usually similar to the flu, joint pain, fever, stiffness. They may also display bloodshot eyes and a skin rash.
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How long does Zika virus stay in the system?

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According to the CDC, Zika virus stays in the blood for 2 to 7 days after the symptoms pass. However, it stays in urine and semen for up to a few months after the infection. If a person is trying to conceive after having Zika virus, both partners should consult with a physician to make sure it is safe. They can be tested to verify there are no signs of an active virus remaining.
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What are symptoms of Zika?

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Pain in the back of the eyes Muscle pain Joint pain Very noticable eye redness Headache Skin rash Fever Fatigue Chills Sweating Loss of appetite Some people can also have Zika with no symptoms.
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What does the Zika virus do?

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Zika virus causes flu like symptoms, a rash, blood shot eyes, and can cause microcephaly in unborn babies. It is spread by mosquitos, but after a person is infected, they can also spread it through sexual contact. In some extreme cases, zika can be fatal.
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Where is the Zika virus?

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Zika is actively present in the United States, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, South and Central America, Pacific Islands, and Cape Horn in Africa. There are attempts to contain the spread of the virus, but due to the fact it is transmitted by mosquitoes, containment is difficult.
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What is the US government doing to stop the spread of the Zika virus?

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Currently the CDC is treating and experimenting with insecticides to try to stop the advance of the mosquito-borne virus, although those efforts have not been as successful as hoped. They are also considering genetically modified mosquito options that would hopefully, if released and successful, bring a halt to the advancement, but not a permanent fix. A permanent solution can only be done with a vaccination, and you can bet they have a lot of scientists working on that right now.
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Is the Brazilian government doing enough to keep the Rio Olympic athletes and spectators safe from the Zika virus?

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Not by our standards, being that Brazil is the epicenter of the disease and all they have managed to do thus far is to spray insecticide in the major Olympic areas. It's not going to be enough. The filthy conditions, widespread poverty, and contamination of the natural resources by the Brazilians have created a perfect breeding ground for this type of epidemic, and not notifying other countries quickly has helped it spread. Brazil will say they are doing everything they can, but it will not be enough unfortunately and the athletes will not be safe from it no matter how much DEET they wear.
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What are he main symptoms of the zika virus?

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Most Zika virus infections cause no symptoms, but when present they may include fever, red eyes, joint pain, headache, and a rash over a flat, red area on the skin covered with small bumps.
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Can kids get the zika virus?

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Anyone CAN get the Zika virus if bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus. ... Also - pregnant women who contract the virus will probably pass it to the developing fetus (causing nasty birth defects) so technically that would also be a case of a "kid" getting Zika.
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How does the zika virus affect the health of people who plays the Olympics?

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If they get infected with it. If they are healthy, it will make them a bit sick, but not too seriously. If a female athlete is pregnant when infected - or gets pregnant soon after getting infected - it may not make the athlete sick but the birth defects it can cause in the developing fetus certainly won't make her feel very good so it would certainly affect her mental health - and if a male athlete passes it along to a pregnant woman and causes her developing child to have birth defects he would probably feel pretty bad too...
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What vector carries zika?

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According to the US CDC the primary vector for the transmission of the zika virus are infected Aedes species mosquitos (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). Other vectors are infected mothers who transmit it to their unborn children, infected men who may transmit it to their sexual partners, blood transfusions from infected people, and (very rarely) exposure in a laboratory where research is being performed on the virus.
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What is the biggest problem with zika?

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The biggest problem with Zika is that Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition where a baby's head is much smaller than expected. Babies with microcephaly can have a range of other problems, depending on how severe their microcephaly is. Microcephaly has been linked to: Seizures Developmental delay, such as problems with speech or other developmental milestones (like sitting, standing, and walking) Intellectual disability (decreased ability to learn and function in daily life) Problems with movement and balance Feeding problems, such as difficulty swallowing Hearing loss Vision problems Note that people with Zika usually only have mild symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don't get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected and may transmit the virus to pregnant women without even knowing they have it.
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How did zika virus get its name?

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Zika virus is named after the Zika Forest in Uganda where some of the first cases were diagnosed.
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What are some symptoms of the zika virus?

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Zika virus has symptoms of a severe flu, along with deeply bloodshot eyes.
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Can a Zika virus cause death?

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The virus is not know to cause death directly, but sometimes it does cause secondary problems that can lead to death. Zika virus infections have been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) with a few cases of Zika related GBS resulting in death. Birth defects caused by Zika can be life threatening though.
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Is zika virus deadly?

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The Zika virus usually produces symptoms so mild that many people don't even realize they are infected. It seldom puts anyone in the hospital, much less kills them; a few people die from Zika, but deaths are very rare. The deadly part of the virus comes from the effects on babies born to women infected with the virus during while pregnant with the baby. The virus causes microcephaly in the baby, which can cause life threatening problems such as seizures and difficulty swallowing, although mostly microcephaly results in serious mental disability, problems with motion and balance, blindness and deafness.