10 Scary Facts About the Zika Virus
The Zika virus was first discovered in Uganda in 1947 through a group of diseased monkeys. In 1952, the first infected human was found in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. The Island of Yap is the first location where a large scale outbreak of the Zika virus was recorded. This incident took place in 2007. There are currently no countries facing a sizeable Zika outbreak, however, there may be a risk of contracting the disease in regions where the Aedes species of mosquito is prevalent. This article looks at the top 10 scary facts about the Zika Virus.

10 Scary Facts About the Zika Virus

  1. People are more likely to contract the Zika virus in poor countries. Mosquitoes that carry Zika often breed in stagnant water. These buildups of stagnant water are found in areas where communities lack adequate plumbing and sanitation. According to the United Nations Development Programme, poor households are least equipped to deal with the virus and are most likely to be exposed to the disease.
  2. Women face the biggest consequences during a Zika outbreak. Health ministers throughout Latin America have told women not to get pregnant during a Zika epidemic. In poorer countries, women lack access to sexual education, which leaves them vulnerable to misinformation. Furthermore, women may be blamed for contracting the virus during pregnancy, which carries an unfair social stigma.
  3. Zika poses a threat to unborn children. In some cases, when a pregnant woman is infected by the virus it disrupts the normal development of the fetus. This can cause debilitating side effects like babies being born with abnormally small heads and brains that did not develop properly. This condition is called microcephaly. Symptoms of microcephaly are seizures, decreased ability to learn, feeding problems, and hearing loss.
  4. Even though a mosquito bite may be the most well-known way to contract the Zika virus, it is possible to get the disease through other avenues. It is possible to get the disease during unprotected sex with a partner, who already have been infected by the virus. Individuals can also contract the virus during a blood transfusion or an organ transplant.
  5.  Symptoms of a Zika virus infection may go unnoticed. The symptoms can be described as mild. If symptoms do occur they can present themselves as a fever, rash or arthralgia. This is especially dangerous for pregnant women because they may not know that they have been infected, unknowingly passing it on to their unborn baby. There is no treatment available to cure this disease once it has been contracted.
  6. There are other birth defects associated with the Zika virus. Congenital Zika syndrome includes different birth problems that can occur alongside microcephaly. Some malformations associated with congenital Zika syndrome include limb contractures, high muscle tone, eye abnormalities, and hearing loss. Approximately 5-15 percent of children born to an infected mother have Zika related complications.
  7. The cost of caring for a child born with Zika related complications can be quite expensive. In Brazil, each kid born with the disease could cost $95,000 in medical expenses. It would cost approximately $180,000 in the U.S. to care for the same condition. Some experts believe the numbers are higher when taking into account a parent’s lost income and special education for the child.
  8. Even though there are more than 10 scary facts about the Zika Virus, there are also measures being taken to prevent future outbreaks. Population Services International (PSI) is working with the ministries of health in many different Latin American countries to spread contraception devices. This promotes safe sex practices. This also gives the women the power to decide if and when she wants to become pregnant.
  9.  The World Health Organization (WHO) is also implementing steps to control the Zika virus. Some of these steps include advancing research in the prevention of the virus, developing and implementing surveillance symptoms for Zika virus infection, improving Zika testing laboratories worldwide, supporting global efforts to monitor strategies aimed at limiting the Aedes mosquito populations and improving care to support families and affected children alike.
  10. The good news is that there are currently no major global outbreaks of the Zika virus. This is a sign that steps around the globe have been successful to lower the number of Zika cases. However, this doesn’t mean that precautions shouldn’t be taken when traveling to areas where the Aedes species of mosquito is prevalent. Even though they are no major outbreaks the disease still exists and may cause problems if contracted.


Even though the Zika virus may currently not be a threat worldwide, it is still something that needs to be accounted for. Zika has serious repercussions in poverty-stricken countries where people can’t afford adequate medical care. The Zika virus is also more likely to be contracted in poorer regions. The Zika virus has a strong correlation with poverty.

– Nicholas Bartlett
Photo: Flickr

What UNICEF Stands For
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is a program dedicated to providing developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries as well as supporting humanitarian efforts globally. UNICEF operates in over 190 countries in an effort to protect and save children’s lives.

How UNICEF Works

UNICEF receives its funding through donations from government entities around the globe as well as private donors. Of these funds, government entities are responsible for two-thirds of the organization’s resources. UNICEF stands for transparency. It reports that of the donations it receives, nearly 92 percent is distributed to relief programs.

UNICEF was founded in 1946 in an effort to help war-torn children in the many countries affected by World War II. In 1953, UNICEF dropped the words International and Emergency from its title in an effort to extend its reach to children in need in developing countries.

What UNICEF Stands For

Today, in cooperation with governments and NGOs, UNICEF stands for providing health care to children, promoting children’s rights and providing immunizations, adequate nutrition, safe food and water as well as basic education. UNICEF’s ultimate goal is to ensure that no child ever goes hungry, thirsty, dies prematurely or is bought, sold or otherwise victimized. In order to achieve this, UNICEF works with families in need and helps ensure adoption policies are in accordance with the best and most ethical practices today.

UNICEF stands for transparency in the nonprofit sector. It receives high praises from many watchdogs for its monetary transparency policies. Of every dollar spent, 90 cents go to children’s efforts, seven cents go toward fundraising efforts and three cents go toward overhead and administrative costs. As well as being transparent, UNICEF excels at working with other agencies and private businesses to fight for children’s rights.

UNICEF’s Partnership with Google

UNICEF works with companies like Google to respond to emergencies such as earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. Most recently, UNICEF has worked with Google to help aid children and families affected by hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

As well as emergency aid, UNICEF and Google collaborate to support the annual flu shot campaign provided by UNICEF. This collaboration has raised over $600,000 toward UNICEF’s immunization program.

In 2016, Google helped UNICEF by donating $1 million to help fight the spread of the Zika virus. Google worked with UNICEF to build a program which tracked the anticipated outbreak of the virus and developed technology that is applicable to not only the Zika virus but other virus outbreaks in the future. With Google’s help, UNICEF helped prevent the spread of the Zika virus and saved the lives of many children and families around the world.

UNICEF is a program with the noble intentions of promoting children’s health and happiness around the globe. Many of the programs provided by UNICEF have helped greatly in reducing the abuse of children in over 190 countries. With its clear mission of transparency, UNICEF succeeds in providing aid to children and families in need. With the help of NGOs and companies like Google, UNICEF is set to continue its story of success in the future.

– Dalton Westfall

Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia is a small island nation in the Caribbean with a population of about 165,000 people. The citizens have a life expectancy of about 78  years. Although life expectancy is comparable to Jamaica and the United States, common diseases in Saint Lucia still have an impact on the population.

Noncommunicable Diseases

The most common noncommunicable diseases that plague Saint Lucia are cardiovascular diseases, contributing to about 42.3 percent of deaths in Saint Lucia. Stroke and ischemic heart disease are currently the two deadliest cardiovascular diseases in Saint Lucia.

A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is interrupted. For example, a blocked artery or damaged blood vessel can cause a stroke. The signs of a stroke include numbness (often on one side of the body), trouble speaking, and loss of balance. Strokes can lead to serious disabilities or death. Both tobacco use and high blood pressure can cause a person to have a stroke. About 14,800 citizens in Saint Lucia use tobacco, which is likely a contributing factor for strokes in the country.

Ischemic heart disease is not only one of the common diseases in Saint Lucia, it is also a contributing factor to strokes. Ischemic heart disease occurs when plaque forms in major blood vessels in the heart, blocking blood flow. This can cause both heart attacks and strokes.

Although stroke and ischemic heart disease are the deadliest cardiovascular diseases in Saint Lucia, incidences of both are actually on a decline. Since 1990, stroke has had a four percent decrease in mortality rate, and ischemic heart disease has had a 16 percent decrease. Although these are small decreases, they are encouraging signs of improvement in Saint Lucia.

Communicable Diseases

Although the situation with noncommunicable diseases has improved, communicable diseases have had an increase in problems. More specifically, Saint Lucia is currently plagued with the zika virus.

Zika is a mosquito-borne disease that is spread through the bugs’ bites. Common symptoms of Zika are fever, headache, red eyes and joint pain. If a pregnant woman contracts Zika, it can cause developmental complications in infants born from the infected mother. Infected patients can also become paralyzed, as Zika can cause the immune system to attack the nervous system.

As of August 29th, 2017 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an alert level two in regards to the Zika virus in Saint Lucia. This means that although travel is not recommended, travelers can go to Saint Lucia so long as they use enhanced precautions.

Thanks to the Olympic Games in Rio 2016, the entire world put a spotlight on Zika. Consequently, this has led researchers to compete to find a vaccine or a cure for the virus. Although there is currently no cure or vaccine yet, there are many reports coming out saying researchers are getting a better understanding of the proteins which is essential to finding a cure. Once researchers find a cure, Zika will not be one of the common diseases in Saint Lucia.

Daniel Borjas

Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in SamoaSamoa is a great vacation destination. There are museums, places to go surfing and beaches to relax on. However, the tropical weather and abundance of water gives rise to many infectious diseases. Below is a guide to the most common diseases in Samoa.

Zika Virus
Due to a number of mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus, the virus has become one of the most common diseases in Samoa. Thus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking precautionary measures. The virus is spread via mosquito bites and sexual contact with an infected person. Thus, the CDC advises travelers and locals to avoid bug bites and use condoms whenever possible. This is even more important for pregnant women, as they are at risk of passing the virus onto their offspring.

Also, it is possible to contract the virus and not even know it. It is typical for people to not experience anything beyond a mild sickness (if they get sick at all) or show distinct symptoms. At the time of writing, there are no cures, medication or vaccines for the Zika virus.

Hepatitis A
Spread through contact with the hands of an infected person and contaminated water and food, people are at risk of catching hepatitis A in Samoa. If someone does develop symptoms, they likely won’t appear until the virus has been in their system for a couple of weeks. The symptoms include mild fever, joint pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, abdominal/liver pain or discomfort, jaundice, clay-colored bowel movements and dark urine.

Fortunately, there is a vaccine that people can ask their doctors/nurses for. This, paired with eating foods prepared correctly and safely, drinking clean (preferably carbonated) water, maintaining personal hygiene and avoiding bushmeat, should prevent the contraction hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B can be found all over the world, but it is particularly prevalent in Samoa. It is so common that, in 2015, the Samoan Cabinet authorized a doctor to participate in a New Zealand meeting discussing hepatitis B treatment and possible drug donation to Samoans. Hepatitis B can spread via unprotected sex, contact with infected blood, unscreened blood transfusions or during childbirth. Even infected items such as razor blades, needles and unclean medical or dental equipment can spread the virus.

According to IAMAT, a nonprofit focused on giving travelers up-to-date health information, hepatitis B is also asymptomatic for many of those who have it. It typically takes anywhere from one to six months after exposure to experience illness and shares many of its symptoms with hepatitis A. Untreated hepatitis B “can lead to liver failure, liver cancer and even death.”

A series of vaccinations are available for Hep B. IAMAT goes on to recommend other preventative measures such as practicing safe sex; avoiding injuries during physical activities; getting medical and dental care done at a trustworthy institution; not sharing needles or razors and avoid getting any new tattoos or piercings.

Typhoid, like hepatitis A, can spread through contaminated food and water. In addition to common symptoms such as weakness and stomach pains, some can experience constipation and a rash.

A vaccine in the form of a shot or pills is available. The prevention methods are the same as hepatitis A. Additionally, close contact (such as sharing food/utensils/cups/kisses/hugs) with infected individuals should also be avoided.

While the most common diseases in Samoa may not all be life-threatening initially, it is best to err on the side of caution and heed the preventative measures.

Jada Haynes

Photo: Flickr

Zika Virus
The Zika virus has become one of the most discussed global health issue since outbreaks resurfaced on the island of Yap in 2007.

The virus has caused many health problems and prenatal risks. It’s important to be educated on its transmission and origin in order to reduce the probability of outbreaks within households and communities. Here are the 10 most interesting facts about the virus.

  1. In Uganda 1947, scientists were testing animals and insects for evidence of yellow fever. They accidentally came across a virus being transmitted from mosquitoes to monkeys and named it Zika, after the forest it was discovered in.
  2. Zika virus is mainly transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. These mosquitoes are notorious for being daytime biters, however, they also bite during the night. These mosquitos are primarily found in tropical regions and are the same mosquito responsible for yellow fever, dengue and chikungunya transmission.
  3. The Zika virus can also be spread by sexual intercourse (anal oral or vaginal). Pregnant women and individuals infected with the virus are advised to practice safe sex or abstinence to prevent the spread of the virus to their partners or possible contraction.
  4. The incubation period for the virus is three to 12 days. The symptoms are similar to other arbovirus infections such as fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise and headache. These symptoms last for three to seven days. The Zika virus symptoms are usually mild and require no specific treatment.
  5. Protection against mosquito bites is essential for prevention of the Zika virus infection. One preventative measure is to wear lightly coloured clothes that cover the body and reduces attraction.
  6. The Zika virus could cause birth defects such as microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Several case reports and studies based on laboratory confirmation have linked infants and fetuses with congenital brain abnormality to their mothers who have been infected with the virus during her first or second trimester of pregnancy. Zika virus infections that occur during the third trimester are affiliated with poor intrauterine growth and fetal death.
  7. A diagnosis of the Zika virus infection can only be confirmed through laboratory tests on blood and other body fluids, such as semen, urine and saliva.
  8. There is no vaccine for the virus, however, data reveals that protection against Zika virus challenge can be achieved by single shot plasmid DNA vaccines with a full-length Zika virus pre-membrane and antibody neutralizing property or inactivated virus vaccines in susceptible mouse models.
  9. Researchers backed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases developed three vaccine approaches to protect monkeys from the Zika virus. The first experiment involved a comparison between an inactivated Zika virus vaccine and a placebo injection. After a boosted dose of both vaccines, the monkeys that received the inactivated Zika vaccine showed an increase in antibodies while those who received the placebo had high levels of virus replication. Another trial using experimental DNA vaccine shots, the monkeys were exposed to the Virus.
  10. The World Health Organization and partners have made efforts to manage and prevent medical complications caused by the Zika virus infection. The organization plans to implement the Zika Strategic Response Plan between July 2016 to December 2017.

Shanique Wright

Photo: Flickr

Diseases in Costa RicaOne of the many struggles that accompany poverty in developing countries is the risk of disease. A greater understanding of the types of threats that face individual countries enables nonprofit and governmental organizations to better cater to their aid towards the needs of a community.

Costa Rica is best known for its beautiful beaches and mountains, which make it a tourist hot spot for much of the year. However, poverty impacts 21.7% of the population and this poverty brings a heightened risk of disease.

As a tropical country, tourists and locals alike are at risk of contracting illnesses related to insect and mosquito bites. Diseases in Costa Rica like dengue fever and chikungunya are especially of note considering their prevalence. Both are transmitted through mosquito bites and have similar symptoms including fever, headaches and joint pain.

Dengue fever, which is now present in 73 of Costa Rica’s 81 cantons, is usually an unpleasant but not fatal illness so long as it does not develop into severe dengue, which has more severe effects. Chikungunya is also typically not fatal, although the symptoms can be debilitating.

The Zika virus has recently been the subject of much study and media attention. Zika is another disease in Costa Rica that threatens the population. Like chikungunya and dengue, it is spread through mosquito bites. A June 15 report confirmed 107 cases of Zika in the country.

Costa Rica’s year is divided into two seasons, the rainy and the dry, and during the rainy season, mosquito populations increase due to the increase in still water. Costa Rica is taking the risk of disease seriously and has begun several important steps in the prevention of these illnesses.

Their efforts include fumigation campaigns across the country as well as attempts to rid communities of objects that collect still water and create additional breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitos. Another disease-fighting strategy rests in Spinosad, a product of bacterial fermentation.

This chemical is non-toxic to humans and yet has a deadly effect on insect larvae making it a perfect solution to the problem of mosquito breeding grounds. The Spinosad pills can be used in swimming pools, ponds and fountains.

While mosquitos are a significant cause of diseases in Costa Rica, there are many ways to prevent these types of illness. Costa Rica shows impressive self-sufficiency in their fight to end Zika, dengue and chikungunya.

Jordan Little
Photo: Flickr

Protect against zikaTop scientists around the globe are working and using new technologies to find out whether new trends in vaccinations could help protect against Zika. With the most recent and most popular public health crisis at the forefront of international attention –the Zika virus outbreak– the world is bringing new information, methodology, literature and scientific measures at a pace that keeps followers baffled. Now, scientists hope to set a world record for the speed at which they can develop a Zika vaccine, and new technologies are helping them along the way.

These novel prevention and intervention procedures could change the way that the public health field addresses epidemics, namely viruses.

Leading the pack with the first grant, biotech company Inovio received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to conduct an experimental Zika vaccine trial on humans. They have already been able to prevent the virus from taking hold in monkeys, and Harvard Medical School reports developing two successful Zika vaccines that have shown promise in mice.

Although many companies and institutions are gunning to be the first, funding can be problematic. President Obama said that a Zika vaccine could be produced relatively quickly should Congress provide a budget for it. Democrats struck down a bill allotting 1.1 billion dollars to research for the vaccine because of tacked-on, unrelated political moves. The president attributed the denial of the bill to typical politics.

Despite this setback, new technology still allows for research to be conducted by private institutions. A relatively recent bit of tech called DNA vaccination now allows current Zika researchers to develop effective vaccines. This form of the shot only contains a fraction of the viral DNA, as opposed to an entire viral unit, allowing the production of these treatments to be more cost-effective and less dangerous.

In the past, one pitfall for researchers was the potency of the vaccine. This type of shot has to enter a cell in order to take hold (unusual in the world of vaccines), so it became necessary to invent new delivery technologies. Now, an electric shock may replace the classic puncture-style injection– a development claimed by Inovio.

So, can new trends in vaccinations help protect against Zika? Researchers hope to have a successful answer and vaccine in mass production by 2018.

Connor Borden

Photo: Pixabay

Major Diseases in the Dominican Republic

Hepatitis and typhoid fever are major diseases in the Dominican Republic, which occur as a result of contact or consumption of contaminated food and water. According to the CIA World Factbook, mortality rates for typhoid fever can reach as high as 20 percent if left untreated.

The zika virus and malaria, two major diseases in the Dominican Republic, are also a major concern for the Caribbean nation. On January 23, 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for the Dominican Republic recorded 10 cases of Zika, eight of which were acquired locally and the other two imported from El Salvador.

In response, public health authorities continue to educate citizens about the risks.

Many individuals infected with the zika virus and malaria only experience mild symptoms that last for a few days to a week, such as fever, rash, joint and muscle pain, headache and conjunctivitis.

However, Zika poses a much more severe threat to pregnant women, who can pass the virus to their fetus, leading to potential birth defects like microcephaly, as well as hearing deficits and impaired growth.

Though no other cases have been reported in the country since, it is still important that citizens take precautions to avoid infection.

Since the outbreak, participants from the International Student Volunteers (ISV) program and Seattle-based organization Education Across Borders have focused their efforts on reducing the risk of the Zika virus and malaria.

ISV launched its unique international travel program in 2002, and more than 30,000 people have participated since then.

Volunteers from the Seattle Preparatory School spent the beginning of their summer lending a hand to the third world country. While partaking in these trips, individuals learn to convert compassion into action for the common good.

Seattle Preparatory students helped prevent further spread of the virus by supplying mosquito nets that will help hundreds of Dominicans in the affected areas. Along with providing aid in the form of physical resources, volunteers brought energy and readiness to the neighborhood worksite.

The Borgen Project had the opportunity to interview rising senior Olivia Smith who visited a poor town outside the city of Santiago called Franco Bido with her travel group. While there, the group helped to build a home for one family in need.

On her experience, Smith states, “My eyes were opened after coming face to face with the problems they deal with everyday and I realized just how much giving my time and assistance helps them. Although I was only there for five days, I built unforgettable relationships with the community. Our efforts toward constructing an additional bathroom or shower will go a long way in a place where different diseases are so easily transmitted.”

Smith also mentioned that many individuals do not have access to mosquito nets, making it harder to steer clear of bites.

While major diseases in the Dominican Republic continue to affect citizens and travelers, groups like ISV and Education Across Borders continue to implement solutions and strive to leave a lasting impact on the communities in need.

Mikaela Frigillana

Photo: Education Across Borders

Zika Vaccine

Since May 2015, the Zika virus epidemic has plagued many nations and continues to spread to more. However, the mosquito-transmitted disease may soon be eradicated with the development of a new Zika vaccine.

On Monday, June 20, 2016, reports went viral when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the following drug developers to initiate human clinical trials for the Zika Vaccine: Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc, based in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, and GeneOne Life Sciences Inc, based in Seoul, South Korea.

Both Inovio and GeneOne have co-created vaccines for Ebola and MERS, which are also undergoing efficacy testing.

The vaccine, labeled GLS-5700, will be enrolled in a phase I study. This study will include 40 healthy volunteer human test subjects who will be given the vaccine to measure the safety, tolerability and effectiveness of the drug.

The initial trials are scheduled to begin July 2016, and should they yield successful results, they will be promoted to phase II clinical trials. These trials will test GLS-5700’s efficacy on people who have already contracted the Zika virus.

If these phase II trials are successful, then the Zika vaccine will be tested on a large experimental group before it is finally approved for the field.

So far, the Zika virus has affected 58 countries and territories and continues to expand. Initially believed to be harmless, the virus is transmitted by the mosquito species Aedes aegypti. If it is contracted by a pregnant woman, it can cause a neurological birth defect known as microcephaly.

Optimally, the Zika vaccine will be ready for public use by early 2018. Currently, more plans are being made to begin phase II trials in early 2017, which will be conducted by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NSAID) based in Bethesda, Maryland.

Jenna Salisbury

Photo: Health Impact News

Zika Mosquito
In Brazil, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are rapidly transmitting the Zika virus. Save for common protection against the Zika mosquito, such as chemical repellent or mosquito nets, there is no vaccination or specific treatment to stop the disease from spreading.

Symptoms are not fatal but can cause fevers, rashes and muscle pain. The most damaging aspect of the virus is its link to birth defects among the newborn babies of those who suffered from the disease.

So what do we know about this mosquito that has been causing widespread fear? Here are 6 facts you might not know about the Zika mosquito.

  1. They thrive in urban areas.
    Unlike many mosquitoes that tend to dwell in tropical jungles to breed in natural water sources, the mosquitoes that are spreading the Zika virus love living in built-up areas. There, they find areas of stagnant water to lay eggs, such as gutters, potholes or flower pots that have collected rainwater that has not evaporated. There is also a concentration of humans to feed on in cities.
  2. Only the females bite.
    The females feed on the protein in blood in order to produce eggs. They feed almost exclusively on humans, and if they to pick up a disease from one person, they are likely to pass it on to their next victim.
  3. Mosquitos detect your location by smelling your breath.
    The bugs have receptors on their antennae that detect the carbon dioxide that you exhale. They can also smell your sweat – the more you sweat, the more they bite.
  4. Most mosquitoes like tropical climates.
    The Aedes aegypti resides in tropical and subtropical climates, which is why many worry that this species of mosquito could spread Zika across South America. According to the WHO, the Zika virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.
  5. The Aedes aegypti has a cousin that could bring Zika to Europe.
    Its cousin, Aedes albopictus, otherwise known as the Asian Tiger mosquito, likes cooler environments. It has been linked to chikungunya virus outbreaks, a disease with similar symptoms to Zika, in Italy and France. Therefore, there is the possibility this species could contribute to the spread of Zika in Europe.
  6. Mosquitoes feed in the day and the night.
    Mosquitos feed in the day and the night. This means mosquito nets are not a very effective prevention method. Insect repellents, such as DEET, have worked in the past, but they are chemical-ridden and toxic for the human skin.

For the most part, symptoms of the Zika virus are relatively mild. Until another preventative measure or vaccine is available, the best way to avoid being bitten by Zika-carrying mosquitoes is to use common protection against mosquitoes, such as repellent, sprays and mosquito nets.

The WHO recommends that those suffering from the disease should rest, drink fluids and use common medicines to treat pain. Some strategies for controlling the spread of the disease are enhancing the surveillance of the virus, providing training on clinical management and strengthening the capacity of laboratories to detect the virus.

Michelle Simon

Sources: WHO, CDC, Megacatch, BBC
Photo: Flickr