What is zika virus?
The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne infection which was first identified in Africa in 1947. It has spread significantly across the world since the first reported case in Brazil in 2015. For most people it is a very mild infection and isn’t harmful. The virus is transmitted to people primarily through an infected Aedes species mosquito, although it can also be passed from person-to-person via sexual contact with an infected man.
Fast Facts on Zika
- Zika virus cases typically occur in tropical climates.
- Infections in the U.S. are linked to travel to and from tropical regions.
- Symptoms of Zika virus infection can last for up to 1 week, but effects on a fetus can be severe.
- At present, there is no treatment for the virus.
- Avoiding mosquito bites is a key aspect of Zika virus prevention.
Some of the initial symptoms include:
- joint pain
- conjunctivitis, or red eyes
- muscle pain
A harmful virus that can cause devastating brain damage in babies could offer up a surprising new treatment for adult brain cancer, according to US scientists.
Until now, Zika has been seen only as a global health threat – not a remedy. But latest research shows the virus can selectively infect and kill hard-to-treat cancerous cells in adult brains. Zika attacks stem cells, which are abundant in babies’ brains as they develop in the womb, but not nearly as prevalent in adult brains. Glioblastoma originates from stem cells, however, which divide and grow in the brain as the cancer spreads. By specifically attacking these stem cells, the virus could offer a targeted line of attack.
Thus,although zika virus is harmful for babies. It could prove to a boon for brain cancer
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