UPDATE: what’s up with Zika?

By Grant Wood

#Zika – do you remember when that hashtag was trending on Twitter and other social media platforms Melon September 4th Week Top100 Download? Well, it hasn’t died out; it’s still a threat. Here’s an update.

The latest news

Vietnam is the latest country to be hit by the Zika virus. According to The Telegraph, “A 64-year-old woman in the beach city of Nha Trang and another woman, 33, in Ho Chi Minh City fell sick in late March.”

Brazil, the country that first reported the suspected outbreak, is currently dealing with 4200 additional cases.

What we’ve discovered since then

A new study, conducted by the School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has found that aside from microcephaly, the Zika virus can also cause problems in the placenta and lesions in the brain. The newsroom at UCLA released information about the study.

Up until now, there have been no reported cases in South Africa and so there is no cause for panic.

5 facts that you need to know about Zika and prevention

  • It’s transmitted to humans by the Aedes mosquito, which is a daytime biter!
  • In pregnant women, it has a severe effect on the foetus, causing a condition called microcephaly.
  • The condition causes the brain to not develop fully and the child will be born with a shrunken head.
  • The most common symptoms of Zika are a skin rash, slight fever and general body-aches. It can feel a lot like flu. Here’s a more complete list of the symptoms of Zika (compiled by the Centre for Disease Control).
  • If you’re planning to travel, make sure that you check whether the country has a high or low Zika threat.
Read  Treat cold sores in summer

An interesting piece of information, that you may not know, is that Zika is not a virus that suddenly appeared in 2015 – it was first discovered in 1947 in Uganda.

You may want to read further to refresh your memory about Zika.