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Zika vírus no Brasil Posted by on Feb 16, 2016 in Vocabulary

How much do you know about the Zika virus? News about the virus is everywhere and knowing more about it can help preventing getting infectado (infected).

What is the Zika virus? It is an infecção (infection) caused by the virus ZIKV, transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. The mosquito also transmits dengue fever as well as chikungunya fever. The Zika virus was first identified in 1947 in monkeys in Uganda and only in 1954 were there cases of humans being infected in Nigeria. The virus reached Oceania in 2007, France in 2013 and the first documented cases is Brazil were in 2015.

Once bit by the mosquito, it can take from 3 to 12 days for the person to start having sintomas (symptoms).

The mosquitos bota ovos (lay eggs) on água parada (stagnant water), in clima quente e húmido (hot humid weather). This is why the most affected areas in Brazil are up north, especially in estados Rio Grande do Norte and Bahia. The reason why it is so difícil (hard) to se livrar do mosquito (get rid of the mosquito) is that the eggs can sobreviver (survive) up to a year in dry and cold conditions until the temperature and humidity are ideal.

How to reconhecer (recognise) the mosquito Aedes aegypti: it is preto ou marrom com listras brancas (black or brown with white strips) on its legs and bodies. They usually bite at amanhecer ou entardecer (dawn or dusk), since they tend to avoid the sun. They also fly low, which means it is more common for them to bite below the knees.

Photo by Jentavery

Photo by Jentavery

Symptoms:

  • Febre – Fever
  • Dor nas juntas – Joint pain
  • Dor muscular – Muscular pain
  • Dor de cabeça – Headache
  • Coceira na mordida de mosquitos na pele – Itchy mosquito bites on skin
  • Dor abdominal – Abdominal pain
  • Diarreia – Diarrhoea
  • Constipação – Constipation
  • Fotofobia ou conjuntivite – Photophobia and conjunctivitis (also known and pink eye)
  • Ulcera bucal – Mouth ulcer

If you have the symptoms, the doctor will ask you for a exame de sangue (blood test) to confirm you have the virus. There is no treatment for it, so the doctors usually prescribe medication to ease the pain. After 5 to 7 days the symptoms should go away and your body should have produced the anticorpos (anti-bodies) necessary to fight the doença (disease).

There is still no prova científica (scientific proof) that the virus causes microcephaly on unborn children whose mother had the disease or Guillain-Barré syndrome (autoimmune disease that causes the immunologic system to attack the nervous system by mistake) even though there have been many reported cases where being infected by the virus coincided with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

The best way of prevention is to get rid of all stagnant water and use mosquito repellent when traveling to areas of high risk, especially at dawn and dusk.

I hope this post will help you with the prevention of Zika and erratication of the Aedes-aegypti mosquito.

Uma boa semana à todos!

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