HealthLeader

An Online Wellness Magazine produced by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)

The Zika Virus

A possible link between this virus and a serious birth defect has left the global community reeling. So, should we be panicking?

The Zika Virus

The headlines blare with all the subtlety of a punch to the gut.

“The World Health Organization Declares Zika Virus a Public Health Emergency” 

“Zika Spreading Explosively”

Somehow, a little known virus that classically produces mostly mild symptoms like fever, rash, achy joints and muscles and red eyes in only one-fifth of infected people — and no symptoms at all in the rest — has mushroomed into a dominant health story.

While the mosquito-borne virus, first discovered in the Zika Forest in Uganda in 1947, is certainly spreading swiftly through parts of Central America, South America and the Caribbean, it’s not the disease itself that has health officials concerned, but rather its possible connection to a genetic abnormality in infants that is causing the world’s health officials to prepare for an epic battle.

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