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Lv4: Born Poster
Lv4: Born Poster
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What You Should Know About The Dreaded Zika Virus

on Wed 12 Oct 2016, 12:18 pm
1. Why is there no treatment for Zika?

There are no approved drugs or vaccines for Zika, mainly because scientists long assumed the virus was so benign that it wasn’t worth the resources required to investigate treatment. Zika has not been widely examined, and while some early research noted that the virus could infect brain cells, the connection between Zika and microcephaly—a severe neurological birth defect—is relatively new. Even now, many people who get infected will never know it, and if they start showing signs of infection, such as a rash, red eyes, fever or joint pain, doctors have little to offer other than advice to stay hydrated or take Tylenol as needed.


Vaccine development is under way at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Scientists are tweaking a vaccine that was initially developed for the West Nile virus, and they expect to launch a safety trial for it in September. “The need for a drug is less compelling than the need for a vaccine,” says Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH. “Since Zika is an infection that in most people is usually gone within a few days, it may be tough to have a major impact with a drug as opposed to prevention, with a vaccine.”


2. How can I find out if I have it?

Right now there are no commercial diagnostic tests for Zika, so unless you’re pregnant or are a traveler with symptoms, your doctor may not test you. That’s because of the high volume of blood samples already waiting to be tested, which right now can be done only by state and federal health authorities. Getting results can take weeks, and tests for people who have traveled to Zika-affected areas but do not have symptoms will likely be considered low priority.

An exception is pregnant women who have traveled to one of the 44 countries where Zika has spread—all of them should be tested, according to the CDC. For each test, a doctor will send a sample to a state or federal lab. There’s also a test that looks for antibodies in blood that show whether a person’s immune system has ever fought the virus, but it’s imperfect; it can mistake Zika for similar viruses like dengue and chikungunya.

3. Who is most at risk?


Pregnant women who live in or have traveled to Zika-infested regions are vulnerable to the most serious complications from the virus: birth defects. Zika can also be transmitted through s*x, though, which spreads the risk of infection to the bedroom.

People living in Southern states and Hawaii—where the climate, geography and the presence of A. aegypti mosquitoes make eventual local transmission likely—are not currently at high risk of getting the virus in their home states, according to the CDC. “The one exception is that if their partner has been traveling to an area of Zika transmission, there is a risk of sexual transmission,” says Margaret Honein, chief of the CDC’s Birth Defects branch. Over time that risk may be enough to encourage U.S. women of childbearing age to consider using birth control.

Access to effective birth control is of particular concern in Puerto Rico, where about two-thirds of all pregnancies are unplanned. “I am extremely concerned about sexual transmission,” says Brenda Rivera-García, the Puerto Rico department of health’s state epidemiologist.“If pregnancy is not in your plans, then make sure you use an effective method to reduce your risk of an unintended pregnancy.”

4. If I’m pregnant and I get Zika, what should I do?

Pregnant women with Zika should get more frequent ultrasounds, which is the only reliable way to detect microcephaly before a baby is born. The birth defect often cannot be identified until the second trimester, which means that for now, many couples will have to make decisions about their pregnancy with incomplete information..


That was how I was caught with an "expo" in an Exam hall, Students were shouting Chop am, Swallow am, thinking it was a Small paper, Not knowing it was Ababio.
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