The Zika virus is not new – it was first discovered in the 1940s. But you never heard of it because Zika outbreaks were rare and harmless. This changed in May 2015 when a Zika epidemic in Brazil affected over a million people.
The World Health Organisation has declared Zika an international public health emergency. The disease has spread to 24 countries, and there is neither a vaccine for it, nor a known treatment or cure. These are facts that you should know. But in coming weeks you may also be fed with all sorts of myths about Zika. Don’t panic, just read The Quint’s myth-buster.
P.S. Zika has never emerged as a life threatening disease. It has never broken out on such a scale before. That is why scientists are only just learning about its full effects. So it is possible that the scare is over-hyped or that Zika’s side-effects are under-stated. Either way, further research is required.