Health

Zika outbreak: What you need to know

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The World Health Organization has declared that the Zika virus is a global health emergency. Zika has been linked to many babies being born with underdeveloped brains. Here are some facts about Zika that you should know.

What are the symptoms of Zika? – Symptoms are rare and can include.

Mild fever

Conjunctivitis (red, sore eyes)

Headache

Joint pain

A rash

Vaccine or drug treatment – At present there in no vaccine or drug treatments available for Zika, therefore patients are advised to rest and drink plenty of fluids.

Impact – Zika has rarely caused deaths, but have caused developing babies to be born with underdeveloped brains. This can cause babies to be born with an abnormally small head, as their brain has not developed properly. This will impact the child’s development and cause development delays.

Is it safe to try for a baby? – Most governments who have an epidemic of Zika in the country have asked women to delay getting pregnant until the situation is under control. Zika is also linked to other complications in pregnancy, including miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and eye problems. At the moment Zika has not been linked to defects in future pregnancies. The world health organization has informed couples to practice safe sex or abstain for at least eight weeks if they are returning from Zika-affected areas. For some reason, if a person shows symptoms of the virus, it is advised that they abstain from trying for a baby, for at least 6 months.

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