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The Zika virus dominated the news last year. The virus can cause no or moderate symptoms, but its real danger lies in its ability to cause congenital disabilities to unborn babies. That's why we will explain to you how this happens and how to know if the country you are about to visit contains many cases affected by the virus.

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1. What we know about the zika virus

Zika virus belongs to a family of viruses called the Flaviviridae family. It is named after the first place it was isolated in, and was first discovered in the "zika forest" in Uganda. It can spread to humans by the bites of certain mosquitoes called the Aedes mosquitoes which include aedes aegypti and aedes albopictus. These mosquitoes are active all day and night. There is a relation between zika virus and the dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile viruses. In the past, the zika virus only existed in small areas in Asia and Africa, but it later started to spread into different countries.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.