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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Zika Virus Precautions and Locations

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Zika virus is spread mostly through an infection from an Aedes-species mosquito. However, it can be unfortunately transmitted through intercourse (particularly from an infected man) — but also from a pregnant woman to her fetus(es), as you probably know from extensive media coverage. Thankfully, Zika is not typically lethal for healthy adults, although some elderly people with weak immune systems could die from the virus and other simultaneous health complications they have.

Pregnant women should not visit "Zika countries and territories" (where virus transmission is ongoing) since Zika-infected babies are often born with microcephaly (causes smaller heads) and other severe issues. These places include Puerto Rico and other Caribbean Sea territories and countries (Aruba, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, etc.), Cape Verde in Africa, Central America (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama), South America (all countries except Chile and Uruguay), and Pacific Oceania (American Samoa, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and Tonga). The following infographic courtesy of Purdue University shows tips to protect yourself if you wanted to travel to a Zika-impacted place. Click on this image to enlarge in a pop-up window.

Zika virus infographic

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