By U.S. ArmyJune 1, 2016
Following are some key things to know about the Zika virus.
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Background on Zika:
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency on February 1, 2016 because of a suspected linkage between the Zika virus and a spike in infant neurologic disorders.
Zika is a virus spread primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These are the same mosquitoes that spread Dengue and Chikungunya viruses. These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters, but can also bite at night.
Recent evidence suggests that Zika virus can also be spread through blood transfusion and from mother to child during pregnancy. There is also evidence that the Zika virus can be sexually transmitted by a man to his sex partner(s).
Transmission of the Zika virus has been identified in at least 25 countries and territories in the Americas, including Central and South America, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. Zika also exists in Africa and Southeast Asia.
Key tips on Zika:
•Protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.
•Zika virus infection is a potentially high risk to unborn children.
•The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a possible link between Zika virus and Guillain-Barré syndrome.
•Pregnant women, and women trying to become pregnant, should avoid travel to Zika-affected regions and correctly use condoms during sex with partners who have traveled to Zika-affected regions.
•Only 1 in 5 people will develop symptoms. Symptoms are generally mild, lasting less than a week.
•Pregnant women, and women trying to become pregnant, located in Zika-affected regions should wear permethrin-treated clothing. Active duty females should wear the permethrin-treated uniform and treat the maternity uniform with permethrin.
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