Zika virus disease is caused by a virus that is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito. While it generally causes a mild illness, there is increasing concern that it is harmful in pregnancy and can cause congenital abnormalities in infants born to women infected with the virus. There is no antiviral treatment or vaccine currently available. The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.
More than 20 countries in South and Central America have reported cases of Zika virus in an outbreak that started in Brazil in May last year. The World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that up to four million people in the Americas could be affected by the virus this year. In Brazil, the worst affected country, there has been an increase in the number of babies born with microcephaly, in which the head and...
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