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What Is Zika?

Many UCAS students aspire to be doctors, so it is important to keep up on recent medical issues. The Zika virus originated in a forest in Uganda and was discovered in 1947. It is a mosquito-transmitted disease similar to Dengue, Yellow Fever, and the West Nile virus. It was recently declared a “global emergency” by the WHO. (World Health Organization). In adults, the illness presents itself as joint pain, fever, rash, and red eyes. It usually resolves within less than a week, but there is no treatment or vaccine. However, it has been linked to severe birth defects if a pregnant woman contracts the disease. Babies are born with abnormally small heads. This causes neurological abnormalities due to the effects on the brain, as well as eye problems. Neurological effects include seizures, vision complications, hearing problems, and developmental disabilities. There is no treatment for the birth defect microcephaly. It is suggested that pregnant women avoid countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean. In order to prevent the spread of Zika, the control of  mosquito populations is the best option.

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