In The News

10 Essential Facts About the Zika Virus

Ten-year-old Elison with his 2-month-old brother Jose Wesley, who was born with microcephaly, in Poco Fundo, Brazil.

By Jennifer J. Brown, PhD. Reviewed by Chad Tewell, MD
As reported on

For most people, the Zika virus causes only a brief, mild flu-like illness. But in pregnant women it has been linked to an alarming increase in the rate of the birth defect known as microcephaly— a debilitatingly small head and brain size. The clusters of birth defects linked to the Zika virus have been called an international public health emergency.

Here are the facts about the Zika virus:

1. The Zika virus is carried by mosquitoes and people, but usually spread by mosquitoes; specifically by the bite of the Aedes mosquito. The virus can also be sexually transmitted.

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Now that the weather has turned colder and many of us are spending more time indoors, it’s time to get the facts on Norovirus, a highly contagious, infectious, gastrointestinal illness that thrives in close, crowded quarters. Airplanes. Cruise ships—we’ve all heard of outbreaks from these sources. But day care centers and even hospitals and assisted living facilities are prime “breeding grounds” for the fast-spreading virus.

While initial symptoms might appear to be a violent flu, Norovirus can be more serious and warrants immediate attention, Here’s why: Once it attacks the digestive system, Norovirus can leave you dangerously dehydrated due to diarrhea, lack of appetite, and vomiting, within just 24 hours.

Read and remember the symptoms of Norovirus. If you suspect that you or a loved one has become dangerously dehydrated, seek medical attention immediately.

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