5 facts about the Zika virus and how to protect yourself against it
1. The virus: The virus was first found in apes in the year 1947, however it is only spreading as an epidemy in South America since 2015. Due to this reason there are currently no medications nor vaccines against the virus. In 80% of the cases there are no symptoms shown after the infection. Possible symptoms include fever, skin irritation, sickness or muscle and joint pain.
2. Consequences: So far only a few deaths are known associated with the Zika virus. Among other things experts have linked the virus has been to neonatal mercocephaly. This leads to significant deformities of the infant skull and brain during pragnancy and has lasting consequences.
3. Infection: The virus is tranfered through yellow fever mosquitoes. They mostly bite during the day and the early evening hours. The bloodsuckers react particularly agressive in the shade and at dusk.
4. Spreading: According to the latest WHO reports, the Zika virus has already been found in more than 33 countries. Particularly affected are Latin American countries such as Brazil, Colombia but also, for example, the Caribbean Islands.
5. Protection: Seek advice from a tropical doctor before any trip to an area with tropical diseases. Wear long and bright clothing whenever possible. Protect yourself during day and night with a mosquito repellent that is tested against yellow fever such as kik and use a mosquito net over your bed.
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