Brazilian STD That Can Cause Birth Defect Coming To U.S.

JP Carroll

Parts of Brazil have declared a state of emergency because of the Zika virus. It can be sexually transmitted and scientists believe the illness will hit the U.S. soon.

The Zika virus is transmitted through bites from the Aedes species of mosquito. The virus can cause birth defects such as stunted brain and skull growth in babies.

A 2011 study from the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases focuses on a case study in which a man contracted the illness abroad and most likely passed it to his wife during sex before he developed visible symptoms of the illness. Scientists suspect that the virus was in the doctor’s semen. None of the couple’s four children contracted the Zika virus. The journal study also posits that blood transfusions can lead to contracting the illness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms of the illness in most cases consist of “fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, pain behind the eyes, and vomiting.” Cases of the illness typically last between a few days to a week.

In 2014, Brazil had 200 recorded cases of the mosquito-borne illness compared to almost 3,000 cases in 2015. In an interview with Vox, the director of the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston Scott Weaver said, “It’s spreading really fast…I think [the Zika virus] is going to be knocking on the doorstep in places like Florida and Texas probably in the spring or summer.”

Last week a case of the Zika virus was reported in Puerto Rico.

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