Articles on Zika

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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?
Illustration of the zika virus. Zika by Shutterstock

Why it’s wrong to compare Zika to Ebola

Zika is quite different to Ebola – and experts would do well to wait before making recommendations this time.
A mosquito. Jaime Saldarriaga/Reuters

What really threatens America: Zika, cancer or ISIS?

The unfolding information about the Zika virus and saddening images of babies infected with microcephaly should really scare us all. The disease has spread “explosively” throughout the Americas, with 32…
Fumigating mosquitos in Venezuela: the Zika virus has wide-ranging implications for largely Catholic nations in Latin America and elsewhere. Miguel Guitirrez/AAP

Love in the time of Zika

Love, sex and babies are the foundation of human existence. Without them the human race ceases to exist. Zika has suddenly disrupted this normal course of events.
Municipal workers wait before spraying insecticide to prevent the spread of Aedes aegypti mosquito at Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, January 26, 2016. Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Explainer: where did Zika virus come from and why is it a problem in Brazil?

Zika was discovered almost 70 years ago, but wasn't associated with outbreaks until 2007. So how did this formerly obscure virus wind up causing so much trouble in Brazil?
There is little doubt the virus can make it to Australia. mrfiza/Shutterstock

Does Zika virus pose a threat to Australia?

They’re small, spindly insects but their threat never dwindles – the bites of mosquitoes threaten death and disease in many parts of the world.
Detecting viruses in wild-caught mosquitoes provides intimate detail of disease transmission cycles. University of Washington SPH/Flickr

How a new test is revolutionising what we know about viruses in our midst

We monitor mosquitoes to help predict and control virus outbreaks. And a new technique for collecting mosquito saliva from the field has made the process both more sensitive and inexpensive.

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