The Pentagon has confirmed that 41 members of the military –including a pregnant woman– have been diagnosed with the Zika virus. In the last month alone, the number of confirmed cases among US military personnel, nearly doubled.
State Dept. officials have also told CNN, there are two confirmed Zika cases among US diplomats serving overseas.
The World Health Organization is calling the Zika outbreak a “global health emergency.”
Each week, the military tracks the number of cases reported among the ranks. This week, it was also reported that seven military dependents have been diagnosed with Zika.
4 out of 5 people with the virus don’t even know they have it– since there are no symptoms in most cases. If someone is showing symptoms, however, they will typically have fever, rash headaches and red eyes.
As yet, there is no vaccine to treat this virus, but according to the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the Army is collaborating with outside partners to develop one.
The female mosquito that carries Zika, is known as the “roach of the mosquito world” because of her cunning ways of hiding and avoiding elimination.
Zika has been linked to a rare auto-immune disorder that can lead to paralysis and there’s also an alarming link between the virus and microcephaly –a neurological disorder where babies are born with small brains.
Health officials warn that Zika can hide in semen, and therefore, can be transferred during sex. So, the CDC is asking men exposed to the virus, to wear condoms.
Military and diplomatic personnel are advised to follow the same rules as civilians to protect themselves in areas infested by mosquitoes.
Preventive measures include: wearing long-sleeve shirts, wearing pants that cover the entire leg, and using insect repellant.
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