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The Zika virus has generated interest, and even concern, in Canadians recently. Here is some reliable information on the subject.
The virus is transmitted by the sting of infected mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti species. These mosquitoes are especially found in tropical and subtropical regions. They sting more frequently at certain periods of the day, including:
In humans, the Zika virus can also be transmitted, for example:
Therefore, it is a myth, although the sting of infected mosquitoes is the main mode of transmission.
Two to fourteen days may pass between the time of infection by the virus and the appearance of symptoms. Mild manifestations occur in 20 to 25% of infected individuals and result in the following:
The absence of symptoms in most infected individuals complicates the fight against the transmission of the virus, particularly through sexual transmission. When symptoms are present, they diminish in two to seven days.
This is a true fact. Some complications include:
Children affected by congenital microcephaly were infected by the Zika virus during pregnancy. These newborns’ heads are much smaller than those of other children. The brain does not develop normally during the pregnancy or ceases to develop after birth. Congenital microcephaly is associated to developmental difficulties.
Guillain-Barre syndrome is a condition during which the immune system attacks the peripheral nerves. The nerves of the ribcage may be affected, which leads to breathing difficulties. Individuals with this disease often recover, but paralysis may remain.
Several measures can be taken to limit the risk of transmission of the Zika virus, such as using effective protection against mosquitoes. For additional information, read the following text: Protection against insect bites using five questions.
The use of condoms is a good way to prevent the transmission of the Zika virus. For men having been at risk of exposure, it is recommended:
Knowledge about the Zika virus is evolving quickly. For now, prevention remains the primary method to fight against the infection.
Speak to your pharmacist for additional information about the Zika virus and all of the protection measures.
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