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    5 things you need to know about Zika

    Summer is mosquito season, and in recent years that has meant concern about Zika. Zika hasn’t been in the news as much this year, but that doesn’t mean the virus, or the dangers it poses to pregnant women and their fetuses, have disappeared. Here are five things you need to know about Zika.

    Causes and prevalence

    The Zika virus is carried by mosquitoes. Pregnant women who become infected with it are at heightened risk for giving birth to a child with microcephaly, or incomplete head development. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report from earlier this year found that about one in 10 women in the U.S. with a confirmed Zika virus infection during pregnancy resulted in a fetus or infant with Zika-related birth defects. The chances of birth defects were even higher among fetuses or infants whose mothers were infected during the first trimester of pregnancy.


    Further reading: How well do you know your TCM codes? Take our quiz to find out!


    There is no cure or vaccination for Zika.

    Current status

    As of early June, 125 symptomatic cases of Zika had been reported to the CDC. All but one of these were among travelers who had become infected while abroad. Four states—California, Texas, Florida and New York—account for two-thirds of the reported cases. Last year about 5,100 cases were reported nationwide. 

    In 2016 Congress earmarked $1.1 billion over five years to fight Zika. However, the CDC warned earlier this year that the funding could run out as early as September.


    The most common symptoms of Zika include:


    ·      Fever

    ·      Rash

    ·      Headache

    ·      Joint pain

    ·      Conjunctivitis

    ·      Muscle pain


    Related: 5 things to know about Lyme disease and Powassan


    Symptoms are usually mild and last anywhere from several days to a week. People who are infected don’t usually become sick enough to be hospitalized, and hardly ever die of the disease.

    Source: CDC

    Next: Codes you need to know

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