Articles on Zika

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A book about Aedes aegypti mosquitoes is seen next to larvae in a laboratory conducting research on preventing the spread of the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, at the Ministry of Public Health in Guatemala City. Josue Decavele/Reuters

Zika: Aedes aegypti mosquitoes love biting humans, and that’s why they spread viruses so well

Aedes aegypti is adapted to live in close proximity with humans, and this close association likely contributes to the severity of the Zika outbreak.
Even if Zika sometimes causes pregnant mothers to have babies with microcephaly, this does not necessarily mean every infected mother would have an affected baby. coniferconifer/Flickr

What are the real risks of Zika?

Despite all the hype around Zika, crucial questions remain unanswered. How great is the risk that infection during pregnancy would result in a baby with microcephaly? And what can be done to prevent this?
Guilherme Soares Amorim, who was born with microcephaly, has his head measured. Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Proving that the Zika virus causes microcephaly

Zika virus and microcephaly are firmly linked, but scientists are still trying to prove that it has caused the condition.
The link between Zika and microcephaly is not proven, but the incidence of both have greatly increased in the same areas. Percio Campos/Flickr

Explainer: what is microcephaly and what is its relationship to Zika virus?

Despite high rates of infection, the Zika outbreak would not have been particularly alarming had it not been for the sudden and – apparently associated – increase in the numbers of infants born with microcephaly.
The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is responsible for transmitting some flaviviruses, including Zika. Ian Jacobs/Flickr

Zika, dengue, yellow fever: what are flaviviruses?

You might have heard the term flavivirus recently due to the outbreak of Zika virus. Zika, along with West Nile virus, dengue, yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis, belong to this family of virus.
Zika has reportedly been transmitted via blood transfusions and sex, so how worried should we be about it spreading? from www.shutterstock.com.au

Zika via sex and blood: how worried should we be?

For a fairly non-descript virus Zika continues to surprise us. Zika has hit the headlines yet again with the news that there’s been transmission in Brazil of two cases by blood transfusion.
The WHO has declared a state of emergency to mobilise funds for research and greater awareness. Salvatore Di Nolfi/AAP

Zika emergency status a cause for alert, not alarm

Overnight, World Health Organisation Director-General Margaret Chan declared the outbreak of Zika virus a public health emergency. So what does this mean?

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