From this month’s Phototake Topic:

The Zika virus, which has been spreading like wildfire throughout Central and South America, has now begun popping up in the US. This outbreak of the virus began in May of 2015, and since then there have been over 1 million people infected.

The Zika virus is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. While the virus is not fatal, the Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly in the children of pregnant mothers who are infected with the virus.

Currently, there is no cure or vaccine for the virus, which may already be responsible for 4,000 cases of microcephaly. This condition causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and may impair hearing and sight, as well as limit cognitive development and shorten life expectancy. While the WHO has predicted as many as 4 million people may contract the virus, doctors are still optimistic because vaccines may begin human trials as early as August.

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Zika virus. Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the Flaviviridae virus family and the Flavivirus genus. It is spread by mosquitos and causes a mild disease called zika fever in humans.

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