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  • Zika Virus Research

    Discovered in the Zika forest, Uganda, in 1947, Zika virus is a member of the flavivirus family. Other flaviviruses include those that cause dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile fever. Like its relatives, Zika virus is primarily transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Zika virus can be transmitted from an infected pregnant woman to her baby during pregnancy and can result in serious birth defects, including microcephaly. Less commonly, the virus can be spread through intercourse or blood transfusion. Most people who become infected with Zika virus do not become sick. For the 20 percent of people who do develop symptoms, the illness is generally mild and includes fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Illness lasts several days to a week. In non-pregnant people, the virus is generally eliminated from the body after a few weeks although it may remain longer in semen (Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases).

    Science Daily provides regular updates to Zika Virus research news.