Zika Virus, Mosquitoes and Microcephaly - A Worrying Infection

Aedes aegypti feeding on human blood; photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim
Aedes aegypti feeding on human blood; photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim | Source

A Troubling Viral Infection

The Zika virus is transmitted to humans via a mosquito bite and causes disease. The symptoms of the disease are unpleasant but are generally mild. There may be no symptoms at all from the infection. The virus is worrying, however, because it's spreading rapidly and because it may be linked to more serious disorders, including Guillain-Barré syndrome and microcephaly (abnormally small brain and head size in babies).

The virus is transmitted by a bite from a tropical mosquito belonging to the genus Aedes. This is not the same genus that causes malaria. Aedes does transmit diseases, though. It's responsible for dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya as well as Zika virus disease. The genus lives in the United States. Researchers say that it's very likely that the Zika virus will reach the U.S. and be transmitted by bites from local mosquitoes.

Zika virus (the dark patches)
Zika virus (the dark patches) | Source

Zika Virus Disease

The Zika virus is not new. It was discovered in 1947 in rhesus monkeys in Uganda. The virus is named after the Zika Forest in that country. It was found in humans in 1952, but for a long time it was not common. The first episode that could be called an outbreak took place in 2007. In 2014, the first evidence of viral transmission from mother to fetus was discovered. Its significance wasn't appreciated at the time.

In recent times, the virus has started to spread rapidly and has attracted the attention of health authorities. Research suggests that a genetic change that is helpful during infection has spread through the viral population. This change has made the virus more successful in its attack on humans.

Zika Virus - What You Need to Know

Symptoms and Treatment


Symptoms of Zika virus disease include a fever, rash and headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain and conjunctivitis (red and inflamed eyes). The symptoms last for a few days to about a week. However, 80% of infected people show no symptoms at all. People generally recover from the infection without help. The infection may make a person feel miserable and may interfere with life for a while, but in general the illness isn't serious.


There is no specific treatment for Zika virus disease. Just as in any viral infection, rest, adequate fluids and good nutrition will help the immune system to fight the virus and will aid recovery. Medications to reduce a fever and inflammation and to relieve discomfort can be bought in drugstores. If these don't help, a doctor's advice should be sought. Pregnant women and people with serious diseases should consult a doctor if they experience symptoms that suggest the presence of the Zika virus.

Secondary Effects of the Infection

The link between the Zika virus and other diseases isn't confirmed but is both suspected and worrying. The potential relationship is being investigated by public health agencies. An increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome was noticed after one outbreak of the virus in French Polynesia and after another in Brazil. An increase in the number of babies born with microcephaly was noticed after an outbreak in Brazil. The latter situation is of special concern to pregnant women and to those who hope to become pregnant soon.

An Asian tiger mosquito beginning its meal
An Asian tiger mosquito beginning its meal | Source

Viruses - More Complex Than They Appear

Unlike other living things, viruses aren't made of cells. They consist of nucleic acid - either DNA or RNA - surrounded by a protein coat. Some viruses have a lipid envelope surrounding the protein coat. Unlike cells, viruses can't reproduce on their own. They must enter the cell of another creature and then direct that cell to make new viruses.

For a long time viruses have been classified as non-living entities, but the idea that they are living things seems to be becoming more popular. Nucleic acids contain the genes that give living things many of their characteristics. Viruses have these genes, even though they can't make much use of them without the aid of a cell and its equipment. Nevertheless, researchers are showing that at least some viruses have surprisingly complex behaviours.

The video below describes how a virus invades a cell. Everyday terms are used for cell parts and processes instead of the correct scientific terms. Despite this simplification, I think the video does a good job of conveying the idea that the host cell is "tricked" into making new virus particles.

DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid while RNA stands for ribonucleic acid. Most viruses contain DNA, but some - including the Zika virus - contain RNA instead.

How a Virus Invades a Cell

Zika Virus Infection

When foraging for food, a female mosquito pierces human skin and a blood vessel, injects an anticiagulant to stop blood from clotting and then withdraws some blood. She needs substances in the blood in order to help her eggs to develop.

The mosquito's saliva may contain Zika virus particles that were obtained by withdrawing blood from an infected person. These particles enter the body of the mosquito's new victim during the bite. Researchers have found that the Aedes mosquito probes the skin before piercing a blood vessel and that during this process the Zika virus is deposited in the skin.

RNA from the Zika virus has been found in human saliva, urine and semen. Although mosquito bites seem to be by far the most common route of infection, a few cases have suggested that the virus can be sexually transmitted. There may be additional methods of transmission.

Destruction of Human Cells

In a recent lab experiment, some French scientists observed the response of living patches of human skin cells to the presence of Zika virus virions. (A virion is an individual virus particle.) They discovered that none of the fibroblasts in the skin were able to block the entry of the virus and that all of them were infected within 72 hours. Other types of skin cells also allowed the virus to enter.

After a virion entered a skin cell, it took control of the cell and "forced" it to make new virions. Once the viral replication had finished, autophagy occurred. This is the process in which a cell destroys some of its contents. Autophagy was followed by the cell breaking up in a process known as apoptosis (self destruction) and by the spreading of virions to new cells.

The information discovered in the experiment is interesting, but there is still much that we don't understand about the Zika virus. Little attention has been paid to the virus until recently because the disease that it causes is so mild and because in the past the disease wasn't widespresd. Now that the virus has been linked to microcephaly and is spreading fast, researchers are scrambling to learn more about it. If we understand the biology of the virus, we may be able to fight it.

Aedes albopictus
Aedes albopictus | Source

Aedes Mosquitoes

At one time, mosquitoes in the genus Aedes were only found in tropical areas. Now they have spread to every continent except Antarctica. The mosquitoes have black and white markings on both their body and their legs. They are active during the day and may bite at any time during this time period. Most bites occur early in the morning and in the late afternoon and early evening.

Two species of Aedes are known to transmit the Zika virus. Aedes aegypti is the usual transmitter. It's sometimes known as the yellow fever mosquito. In the U.S., the species is most common in Hawaii and in the southern states that border the Gulf of Mexico. The insect has been found further north, though, especially when the weather is warm.

The Asian tiger mosquito, or Aedes albopictus, also transmits the Zika virus and is found in the warmer parts of the United States. It's unclear how significant this mosquito is in the spread of Zika virus disease.

MRIs of someone with a normal head and brain (on the left) and of someone with microcephaly
MRIs of someone with a normal head and brain (on the left) and of someone with microcephaly | Source


Although a Zika virus infection is generally mIld, the secondary effects that appear after the infection may be serious. The evidence that microcephaly is one of the secondary effects is growing.

Microcephaly is a sad condition in which a baby is born with an unusually small head and brain. The disorder may also develop in the first few years of life. In this case the head and brain fail to enlarge sufficiently as the child grows. Occasionally a child with microcephaly has normal intelligence and abilities, but generally there is impairment, which ranges from mild to severe. Techniques such as speech and occupational therapy can be helpful for a person with microcephaly. The person may require special care throughout their life, however.

The New York Times has published some alarming statistics about microcephaly in Brazil.

  • The state of Pernambuco in Brazil normally has around nine babies born with microcephaly in a year. In the year that ended in November, 2015, 646 children had been born with microcephaly.
  • In a normal year, about 150 children are born with microcephaly in the whole of Brazil. In the current year, researchers are investigating almost 4,000 cases.

It's no wonder that pregnant women in Brazil are panicking, as reports suggest. Even if the Zika virus is not responsible for the increase in microcephaly, the cause needs to be found.

Virus Spreading around the World

The 2016 Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is worrying some people because Brazil is one of countries that is hardest hit by the Zika virus.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks nerves. The immune system normally attacks invaders such as bacteria and viruses and protects us from disease. Something is very wrong when the system attacks normal structures that are an essential part of the body. The syndrome is rare but serious.

The first symptoms of Guillain-Barré syndrome are generally muscle weakness and tingling. The symptoms can escalate, resulting in paralysis. The paralysis may be a medical emergency. The disorder requires hospital treatment. Provided they get this treatment, most people recover from the disease. They may experience lingering symptoms, however. The cause of the disease is unknown, but it is known that it develops after a person has experienced a major infection of some kind.

A Guillain-Barré Syndrome Patient

Preventing a Zika Virus Infection

Researchers have started the process of creating a vaccine for the Zika virus. Unfortunately, this process will probably take a long time. The best thing that we can at the moment to prevent a Zika virus infection is to avoid mosquito bites.

The CDC in the United States and health authorities in Canada are currently recommending that pregnant women avoid travelling to countries where the Zika virus is transmitted. Some countries in which mosquitoes carry the Zika virus are recommending that women in those countries don't get pregnant until 2018.

People should contact a health agency in their own country and do some careful research before they begin to travel. Recommended precautions to prevent mosquito bites are listed below. At the moment, these precautions are needed when travelling to a tropical country containing mosquitoes that transmit disease. Some of them may become necessary in other countries as mosquitoes spread.

  • Wear insect repellent when outdoors during the day or early evening.
  • Cover as much of the body as possible with clothing. Wear light-coloured clothing to reduce the chance of overheating.
  • Consider treating clothing with insecticide.
  • Make sure that all the windows in a building have secure screens that mosquitoes can't penetrate.
  • Close windows and use air conditioning whenever possible.
  • Keep doors closed as much as possible.
  • Sleep under a mosquito net.
  • Remove still and stagnant water around the home. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in still water. Even puddles or water in small items like buckets and flower pots may attract egg-laying females.

A mosquito net that hangs from a sealing; more spacious nets are attached to frames
A mosquito net that hangs from a sealing; more spacious nets are attached to frames | Source

The Zika Virus in North America

The Zika virus is spreading fast. WHO believes that it will appear in every country in North and South America where the Aedes mosquito lives. Only Canada and Chile are currently free of the mosquito.

The virus has already been found in Puerto Rico. There are fears that when the weather warms up in the spring and summer of this year, the virus will appear in the United States. People living in the more northerly and generally cooler states of the U.S. shouldn't ignore the situation. Aedes has been found as far north as Washington.

Every woman who becomes pregnant in the near future or who hopes to so should keep up to date with respect to Zika virus news. If the virus is discovered in her area - and perhaps even before this discovery - she should take steps to prevent mosquito bites. It's a good idea for other people to do this, too. Communities may take steps to reduce the spread of mosquitoes, but individuals need to protect themselves as well

An Announcement from the Director-General of WHO

A Growing Problem

In the video above, the Director-General of WHO says that the Zika virus is spreading "explosively". She stresses that a causal relationship between the Zika virus and brain development or neurological problems is not confirmed, but she also says that the relationship is "strongly suspected".

Some health experts in the United States are saying that most of us shouldn't be scared by the Zika virus. If we become infected, our symptoms will almost certainly be non-existent to mild. Guillain-Barré syndrome may be a secondary effect of the viral infection and can be very serious, but it's a rare disease and is usually treatable. The major problem linked to Zika virus is microcephaly in babies. This is the effect that is most worrying. Microcephaly is a lifelong condition.

Hopefully researchers will discover ways to protect us from a Zika virus infection. It's unknown when this protection will be available, however. Until it appears - assuming it ever does - we need to take steps of our own to prevent Zika virus disease.

© 2016 Linda Crampton

More by this Author


sallybea profile image

sallybea 8 months ago from Norfolk

A very worrying virus indeed, one which the implications and long-term effects will be felt for a very long time. I don't think this is going to be a quick fix either.

Buildreps profile image

Buildreps 8 months ago from Europe

Great and very informative article. Mosquitoes are a serious problem, but also part of nature we have to deal with. It seems as if every time new diseases arise seemingly out of nothing. I'm wondering if there's a real good explanation for it besides something like the 'result of random mutations.' In other words 'we don't know'.

DDE profile image

DDE 8 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Hi AliciaC there are many cases and this will increase. You gave me a better idea on about this virus. Weather is a cause of this virus. Important and urgent information.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

Thanks for clarifying. This was on the news last night...spreading quickly...let's hope they find a cure soon before this becomes a larger problem.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, Sally. I don't think there will be a quick fix, either. It's a very worrying situation for pregnant women living in affected areas. Thanks for the visit.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, Buildreps. Thank you for the comment. The development of diseases is certainly a fascinating and thought provoking topic!

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks for the visit, Devika. Yes, it looks like the number of cases will increase. It's very sad when a disease has permanent consequences.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

I hope the problem is solved soon too, Bill. There's no sign of a treatment yet. The best protection seems to be the prevention of mosquito bites. Thanks for visiting.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 8 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Alicia....Thank you so much for this invaluable information. This is definitely a must read. I intend to mass mail your link to all my family & friends.....Everyone should be aware and educated on this topic!......Great Public service, Alicia!

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you so much for the comment and for sharing the hub, fpherj48! I think the information is important to know, expecially for women who are or may become pregnant. The Zika virus is very strange. It has such minor effects when it first enters the body, but the later effects can be so serious.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 8 months ago from The Caribbean

Fearful indeed, especially for women in their child bearing years. This is the first time I have heard that it can be transmitted by saliva, urine and semen. Thank you for this and all other valuable details.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, MsDora. It is a troubling virus. It's transmitted by mosquito bites the vast majority of the time, but there are a couple of cases in which the virus is believed to have been transmitted by semen. As far as I know, there's no evidence for transfer by saliva or urine yet. There's a lot that we need to learn about the virus, though. Thanks for the comment.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 8 months ago from England

Nice one Alicia, and so current. its awful isn't it? I have been watching the news, and knew some of it, but you have explained it perfectly. so scary to think it can spread further up America like that. and to go from 9 cases to 4,000? these mosquito's need to be eradicated, nell

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, Nell. The virus can definitely have horrible effects in some cases. I hope the problem is solved as quickly as possible. I appreciate your visit and comment.

Rachel L Alba profile image

Rachel L Alba 8 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

We have been hearing about that also. I'm glad it's winter now and we don't see any mosquitos. I am very careful about them in the summer too. Thanks for all the information.

Blessings to you.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, Rachel. It's good that there are no mosquitoes around now. The summer could be a problem, though! Thanks for visiting.

Blessings to you, too.

Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 8 months ago from Oklahoma

Again proving some of the scariest things in the world are invisible to the naked eye.

Great read.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

You've made an excellent point, Larry! I appreciate your comment.

Vellur profile image

Vellur 8 months ago from Dubai

Zika virus affecting the foetus is a serious problem and the poor child will have a small head and brain. I hope soon they will discover a cure for it. Great article clearing many doubts about the Zika virus, than you for sharing and voted up.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much for the comment and the vote, Vellur. I feel very sorry for the children affected by Zika virus, too. It's a sad situation.

Genna East profile image

Genna East 8 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

A very interesting article, Linda, and superbly researched and written. That this virus has started to mutate and develop into something that aids in its attack of humans is alarming, but not unusual. Thank goodness this one isn't as harmful. But I feel for the children infected. As you noted, understanding a virus assists the medical community in fighting it. Guillain-Barré syndrome is a nasty autoimmune disorder, but people eventually recover. I always learn something new with your articles, Linda. Thank you.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much for the kind comment, Genna. I always appreciate your visits. The virus is interesting biologically, but the effects that it may cause are very worrying.

aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 8 months ago from Stillwater, OK

This is another effect of global warming. More tropical insects and diseases will become a very real part of life. We should be prepared to receive vaccinations for the diseases of tropical countries.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Yes, climate change does seem to be responsible for the spread of organisms that were previously restricted to tropical areas. It's a troubling situation. Vaccinations can certainly be useful when they're available. Thanks for the comment, Deb.

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 8 months ago from Northern California, USA

That Zika virus is one serious virus. I have heard so much about it, but now after reading your article, I see just how serious it is. It may not be a major concern in some places, but it seems like this virus is spreading rapidly. Thank you for the valuable information you have provided here.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, Marlene. Thank you for commenting. It certainly seems like the Zika virus can cause serious effects. I hope it doesn't become a big problem in the United States and that people in countries where it is a problem are helped.

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 8 months ago from The Beautiful South

Wow, so interesting. I live in the southeast and what is really worrying me is I have been seeing mosquitoes off and on all winter now on days it is above freezing and I didn't know they could hatch out before spring? They are tiny and not adults so hopefully they will be killed before winter is over! They love me, let me tell you, no matter what I put on or do. I have tried everything. Now I am getting spider bites in the winter, have had about three and had to go to the doctor over the first one. I have chickens or I would just fumigate everything!

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

It sounds like you're having an unpleasant time, Jackie. Mosquitoes and spider bites in winter are not good! I hope you don't need to see the doctor again in the near future. Thank you very much for the visit.

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 8 months ago from The Beautiful South

I'm good; thank you, had a bad three days but it is going away now. Hearing all about this Zika one and I sure hope they can do something! I heard something on the news advising women not to have babies until the year...something I don't remember but I tell you what a shocking thing to hear! Will share this often to keep the word out there!

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

I'm glad you're feeling better, Jackie. As I say in the article, women in some affected areas are being advised not to have children until 2018. That is shocking! Thanks for commenting again and for sharing.

Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 8 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Thanks for this very informative article on this dreadful virus. What makes me question is the following: The virus has never been responsible for any known serious outbreak of disease in Africa, so why suddenly today in Brazil? Zika virus has not yet been diagnosed in people anywhere in Africa south of Uganda and it did not begin spreading widely in the Western Hemisphere until last May, when an outbreak occurred in Brazil.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, Nadine. Thanks for the visit and the interesting comment. Researchers say a mutation appeared in the viral population, making it a better pathogen. In addition, the virus spreads best in crowded areas. The relatively sudden and rapid spread of the virus in Brazil is alarming and thought provoking, though. It shows what the virus is capable of doing under certain conditions.

ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 8 months ago from Central Illinois , USA

Traveling to other places makes is scary nowadays with deadly virus just popping up.

It helps to have information about it. Thanks for sharing. :-)

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks for the comment, ignugent17. Yes, travel can be scary. It's important that we investigate the diseases in a country and the precautions that we need to take before we leave home.

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 8 months ago from San Diego California

Frightening disease with a lot of misconceptions surrounding it. My wife heard on a Spanish language news source that the Zika virus can be spread by kissing, of all things. I don't think this is true, I think it is transmitted solely by mosquitoes, but I could be wrong. Do you know anything about this? She is warning my son to be careful who he kisses. I think this shows that Zika is the new scare word, just like Ebola was a year or so ago. Great hub!

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, Mel. Thanks for the visit. Your comment is interesting. About a week ago, some Brazilian researchers said that they had found the Zika virus in saliva and urine. They also said that pregnant women should be careful about who they kissed and about sharing cutlery. Other researchers said that the advice was ridiculous and that just because the virus is found in saliva doesn't mean that it's transmitted via this medium. The situation is confusing and worrying because we don't know enough about the virus. The evidence that it can be transmitted by sexual contact as well as by mosquito bites is increasing, though.

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 8 months ago from Minnesota

Thanks for the great information on this troubling virus. I feel so sad for these parents that have had babies with severe side effects. I hope they come up with a cure before this spreads.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, Minnetonka Twin. Thank you for the comment. I feel sorry for the parents and their babies, too. It's a very sad situation. I hope a cure and an effective prevention method are discovered soon.

reza81 profile image

reza81 8 months ago from 269/1 Senpara Parbata, Mirpur-10, Dhaka-1216

May the Almighty save us from Zika virus!

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks for commenting, reza81.

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 8 months ago from USA

Terrific hub, not only for the information on Zika but also for highlighting Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much, Flourish. I don't think that Guillain-Barré syndrome gets enough attention.

pinto2011 profile image

pinto2011 7 months ago from New Delhi, India

Nice to get a ring-side view of this menace. Very nicely and thoroughly explained.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you, pinto2011. I appreciate your visit.

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 7 months ago

Between the disease and raw sewage in Brazil and slave labor situation in the middle east it is clear there are some truly horrific venues to try to hold sports competitions.

You do have to wonder sometimes who put the mosquito into the "divine plan".

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, poetryman. Yes, there are certainly some serious situations in the world today, including those caused by mosquitoes. It is hard to think of something good to say about the insect! Thanks for the visit.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 months ago from Houston, Texas

There have been several people already diagnosed as having the Zika virus in Houston. It is certainly a concern particularly for people wishing to become pregnant. Apparently some of our Olympic athletes are debating whether to even attend the summer Olympics because of the Zika virus being so predominate in Rio. Rather sad situation. Sharing this!

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much for the comment and the share, Peggy. There have been people diagnosed with the Zika virus in Canada, too, though they became infected while they were out of the country. It's a worrying situation. It would be a shame to see the Olympic Games affected by the virus.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 7 months ago from the short journey

Interesting post, as usual. Reports are saying that no microcephaly is linked to Zika in Columbia at this point so I am wondering whether researchers are actively looking for other causes of the condition in Brazil. Since microcephaly is not a new condition its history gives pause for thought. That the majority of women in the high risk range of reported statistics are from the poor, remote, and most neglected areas is something that should be straightforwardly explored and reported. Genetic defect within close knit communities has been clearly found as the cause of this disorder, though I'm not sure that's always the case. It's important to remember that mosquitos carry many diseases. The tips you've shared on bite preventions are ones everyone everywhere should heed.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, RTalloni. There are some puzzles surrounding the Zika virus. I've read that some researchers in Brazil have suggested a chemical cause for the increase in microcephaly, although I don't know how seriously this proposal is being taken. I hope the true explanation is found soon.

Express10 profile image

Express10 7 months ago from East Coast

Excellent article. I would like to know what you think of the idea that this virus has longevity in reproductive body fluids? According to the nightly news here in the US, there are a couple of cases involving males who have traveled to areas where Zika is common and then returning to the US only to have offspring with Zika.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, Express10. Thanks for the interesting comment. According to what I've read recently, even the CDC doesn't know the longevity of the Zika virus in reproductive fluids. It's an interesting topic that could have very important consequences!

Express10 profile image

Express10 7 months ago from East Coast

I was very surprised to hear this and if there is any longevity, it may be great cause for concern with the worlds athletes and spectators going to the Olympics in Brazil. According to the story that I saw on the news, there is some research underway as to the longevity of the virus in reproductive fluids. I hope that a correct answer about the longevity can be found and used to help people avoid this disease but a quick and correct answer will likely not occur soon enough to prevent more life altering infections.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi again, Express10. The situation with respect to the Olympics is certainly worrying. I hope the research into the Zika virus proceeds rapidly so that we can understand it better. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered.

Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 7 months ago from Alberta Canada

Hi AliciaC

Just reading over this amazing and informative hub reminds me of just how susceptible we have become to airborne infection in many forms, many of which are so far out of our control. It can be scary when you think of it and to know methods of prevention are so important...

Hugs from Alberta

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, Rolly. Thank you very much for the visit and the comment. Airborne infections can definitely be scary. As you say, it's very important to find ways to prevent them!

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 months ago from Peru, South America

I feel like I learned a lot about the Zika virus. It's such a worry for women of childbearing age. Hopefully, a way of protecting ourselves will be found. Thank you for this informative article.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, vespawoolf. The virus is certainly worrying. Like you, I hope researchers find a way to protect us. Thanks for the visit.

Glenis Rix 7 weeks ago

I'm slightly worried - one of my sons and his family recently relocated to Singapore for 2 years. My daughter-in-law is pregnant. Sharing your advice on Facebook.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 7 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you for the comment and the share, Glenis. I hope everything goes well with your daughter-in-law's pregnancy.

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