We already brought you part one of our list of 15 things you probably did not know about the Zika virus, and now we’re back with part two! Check out eight more fascinating facts about the worrisome condition that you definitely (probably) did not know below. You might be surprised by what you find out!
Number Eight: Right Now, the Best Way to Protect Yourself Is to Stay Away From Mosquitos. Though researchers are working hard to create a vaccine and cure for Zika, the best way to protect yourself right now is to stay far away from mosquitos, since they carry the virus.
Number Seven: There’s an Explanation Behind the Huge Outbreak in Latin America. If you’re wondering why Zika virus is popping up all over Latin America, there’s an explanation for that. People living in the Americas are especially susceptible to the virus because it’s never been introduced into our environment. This means that nobody in Latin America has the antibodies necessary to fight it. The mosquitos that carry the virus are also very prevalent in Latin America.
Number Six: Outbreaks in the United States Are Expected to Be Small. You might be wondering what the presence of the virus in the United States means for your own personal health, but unless you live in a gulf state, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands, you probably don’t have much to worry about. Experts predict the virus will spread to Gulf Coast states and possibly Hawaii, but it probably won’t spread all over the country.
Number Five: It’s Safe to Conceive After a Zika Infection. Especially cautious women may hesitate to try and conceive after being infected with the virus; however, it can be completely safe. If you’ve been infected with the virus and want to conceive, just wait two weeks, and there will no longer be a risk to your potential unborn child.
Number Four: There’s No Reason to Be Afraid. It’s easy to look at all the information about the virus coming out and become terrified that you’ll be infected and die. However, panicking is not the answer! The CDC says that the best defense against the virus is to be aware, rather than afraid. However…
Number Three: The World Health Organization Has Declared it a Public Health Emergency. The World Health Organization, or WHO, has declared a public health emergency only four times: for polio, swine flu, Ebola, and now for the Zika virus. The virus has now spread to at least 24 countries.
Number Two: Climate Change Might Be a Contributing Factor. Since the virus is caused by bites from infected mosquitos, it’s better to be in colder places where there are no mosquitos. However, thanks to the rising temperatures, mosquitos are inhabiting more and more places, leading to more opportunities to spread the virus.
Number One: It Might Be Several Years Before We Have a Vaccine. Though researchers are toiling to find a vaccine and a cure for the virus, it will likely take several years before they develop one that is viable and can be administered to the public. We hope you enjoyed our list of 15 things you didn’t know about the Zika virus!