It’s the top healthcare news story right now– Zika virus. But do you know what Zika virus really is?
The Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted infection. It is related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile virus. Although it was discovered in the Zika forest in Uganda in 1947 and is common in Africa and Asia, it did not begin spreading widely in the Western Hemisphere until last May, when an outbreak occurred in Brazil.
Until now, almost no one on this side of the world had been infected. Few of us have immune defenses against the virus, so it is spreading rapidly. Millions of people in tropical regions of the Americas may now have been infected.
Yet for most, the infection causes no symptoms and leads to no lasting harm. Scientific concern is focused on women who become infected while pregnant and those who develop a temporary form of paralysis after exposure to the Zika virus.
Ask your doctor if you are at risk for Zika virus. And take a look at the CDC website for more information about the virus.
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