February 11th, 2016
Zika. It’s a word that has dominated the headlines for weeks. And it’s likely to continue to be a part of the news cycle for weeks to come.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil last May. Since then, the virus has spread throughout Central and South America—and even the United States.
Last week, the first known case of Zika was reported in Texas by local health officials, and the virus was declared an international health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO).
It’s a lot to digest, and it’s likely leaving a lot of people asking: So what do I really need to know about this virus?
Zika is spread through mosquito bites, causing such symptoms as fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis. Unborn children are particularly at risk because the virus has been linked to birth defects, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can result in muscle weakness and even paralysis.
Johnson & Johnson has a long-standing commitment to mobilizing to help address such public health crises—and the Zika virus is no exception.