Virus spreads rapidly across American continents

Story by: Jimmy Pacheco, Sports Editor

The Zika virus, a disease spread through mosquito bites, remains incurable as its range widens. Cases of infection originated in Brazil and continue to occur in both North and South America. As of early January, eight cases of confirmed Zika Virus have been detected in Texas.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the most common symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Although the incubation period remains unknown, the CDC categorizes the disease as mild and recommends treating the symptoms with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medicines.

The severity of the disease lies in its effects on fetuses whose mothers caught the virus. Birth defects in babies such as microcephaly, which causes abnormally small heads and leads to several more medical conditions, have proved correlation with the virus. The CDC advises pregnant women to refrain from travel to infected areas, and – if in those locations – take measures to prevent mosquito bites.

Recent reports involving the Zika virus include the first known case of someone sexually transmitting the disease. A patient in Dallas, Texas contracted the virus through sexual contact with a partner who recently returned from Venezuela, one of the infected locations.