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29 September 2016

Zika facts to keep you safe

The news has got us all concerned about the recent zika cases right here in Malaysia. But if you guys keep yourselves informed, you stand a better chance of protecting yourself.

1. The zika virus is transmitted through mosquito bites… and sexual intercourse We all understand that the zika virus is transmitted through mosquitoes, just like dengue, West Nile and other diseases like it. But zika is also transmitted through sexual intercourse as well. Be sure to take preventive measures with your partner and get tested. 2. Blood transfusions can also transmit the virus So if you’re donating blood, be sure to get yourself tested so you don’t spread it to any more people. Make sure you don’t share needles, and get yourself tested if you suspect you’ve got zika. 3. Symptoms of the zika virus are usually mild And in some patients, the symptoms don’t show up at all. Fevers, rashes, headaches, pain behind the eyes, joint pains and itchy, irritated eyes are symptoms of the zika virus. But since they’re so common, most people don’t think much of it. If you’re not feeling well, go see a doctor if your area’s been hit with zika. 4. Unborn babies are most at risk The zika virus can cause severe birth defects which can be fatal for the baby. It’s advised that pregnant moms get tested for the virus if they’re feeling unwell. Regular check-ups in zika-hit areas are also recommended. 5. Zika began in Africa, but is rapidly spreading There have been reports of the zika virus spreading even to the United States. A majority of those cases come from travelers who have returned from countries with the zika virus. 6. Travellers do not bring the mosquitoes back with them Mosquitoes are pretty fragile insects and don’t travel well. They do get spread to local mosquitoes through bites, or spread to other people via sexual intercourse. 7. Research is underway to find a virus vaccine Countries hit by the zika virus are now scrambling to find a solution, focusing especially on women of reproductive age. Different organizations and countries have taken different approaches. Like our very own Dr. Dhesi and Rainier Mallol, who have worked together with the webe community to develop an app that can predict disease outbreaks—like dengue and zika. Check out what these guys are up to on their Facebook page: From:

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