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About the Zika virus

The Straits Times on 31 Aug 2016

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SINGAPORE - Here's all you need to know about the Zika virus - from the dangers it poses to pregnant women to the steps one can take to minimise risk of exposure.


About the Zika virus and who is at risk

Q: What is the Zika virus?

A: It is a virus infection transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, which also carries the dengue and chikungunya viruses.


It is generally a mild disease; four in five people who become infected with Zika do not show any symptoms but could be infectious.


Q: What are the symptoms?

A: They include a fever, an itchy rash, body aches, headache, red eyes and occasionally, nausea and vomiting. These usually develop within three to 12 days after the mosquito bite and often last between four and seven days.


Q: Who is at greatest risk?

A: Unborn babies are the most at risk should their mothers become infected with the Zika virus.


Between 1 per cent and 10 per cent of women infected during pregnancy give birth to babies with defects. The most common defect is microcephaly, where the baby is born with a much smaller head, sloping forehead and damaged brain.


Q: Is there a cure?

A: At the moment, there is no cure or vaccine. Only the symptoms can be treated.

To avoid getting infected, use insect repellent and wear clothing that covers the body, arms and legs. The public are also encouraged to do the five-step mozzie wipeout to prevent mosquitoes from breeding at home.



Read the full article here: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/all-you-need-to-know-about-the-zika-virus-and-the-threat-it-poses

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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