Brazilians urged to take precautions to avoid mosquito-borne Zika virus

Brazilians urged to take precautions to avoid mosquito-borne Zika virus

Urging citizens to take precautions to avoid deadly mosquito-borne disease known as Zika, Brazilian health authorities have advised that people, particularly pregnant women, should stay inside during the country’s upcoming holiday season to avoid mosquito bites.

The Brazilian Ministry of Health’s just released warning is part of the government’s massive public awareness campaign to help fight back a fast-spreading Zika virus that has been linked to thousands of cases of infant brain damage, which is also referred to as microcephaly.

Health officials said they’re convinced that the increase in illnesses is linked to a sudden outbreak of Zika virus, and warned that there could be more cases in the near future.

The country alone has recorded 440,000 to 1.3 million cases of Zika since the first local transmission of the virus was reported in May this year.

Rio de Janeiro-based Fiocruz research institute’s Vice President Rodrigo Stabeli said, “We are looking at the beginning of an epidemic in a country that has in between 200,000 and 300,000 births per year, which shows how worried we are. It’s a virus we don’t know that much about. We are preparing for the unknown.”

Brazilians are so concerned about the outbreak that some obstetricians have started recommending women to avoid becoming pregnant during rainy season when mosquitoes are particularly most prevalent.

The Zika viral disease is characterized by fever, rash, arthralgia, headache, myalgia, asthenia and non-purulent conjunctivitis. However, one out of every four people affected by it doesn’t develop symptoms at all.

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