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WHO warns about deadly Zika Virus infection in South America

WHO warns about deadly Zika Virus infection in South America

The Zika virus is rapidly spreading across South America, according to World Health Organization (WHO). The data suggests that four million people got infected by zika virus last year. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have informed travelers to avoid around 24 South American countries. The advisory is specially targeted at the pregnant women who are more vulnerable to the virus.

The zika virus results in small heads and brain damage of new born babies. The pregnant women across the region are getting tested for the virus now.

Here are things you should know about Zika Virus :

1.)What is it exactly?

It is a mosquito transmitted virus which is very much related to West Nile, yellow fever and dengue virus. The infection is relatively new to the countries in the western hemisphere. The virus was named as Zika in 1947 when it was found first in Uganda’s Zika forest region. It is very common across Asia and Africa. The first major outbreak was recorded in Brazil during the month of May last year.

2.) Zika virus carriers

The Aedes species of mosquitoes carries the virus. These insects have capacity to breed in smaller spaces like wet water bottle caps.  The Aedes aegypti, a type of mosquito responsible for spreading yellow fever, is responsible for creating maximum Zika cases in South America. The experts are also saying that it can be spread through sexual activity and blood transfusion as well.

3.)It’s deadly effects

Though scientists are not sure about how it damages brain, many cases of brain damage have been reported. Since October last year, the number cases of damaged brain and small heads among babies have been increasing in Brazil. The experts also say that zika virus might have been making patients vulnerable to other viruses. Crisis is really serious considering more than three million babies are born in Brazil annually.

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