THE ZIKA VIRUS

This is a simple explanation and English lesson about the Zika Virus.

It is intended for reading, writing and speaking practice.

Ideally, you should memorise it and try speaking it without any reading.

Here we go!

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Zika is not the name of a Brazilian football player but it does come from Brazil.

Like Ebola, nor is it an Internet computer football game.

Zika is a contagious tropical virus which is caused by a mosquito bite.

It is not considered life-threatening to adults and has been compared to yellow fever and dengue.

It is, however, considered dangerous to pregnant women whose unborn babies may develop deformality during the pregnancy.

There is presently no immunity or vaccine for the virus and it may take a few years for clinical trials to produce results.

Prevention may be more effective and rapid than the availability of a medical cure, so the world should consider a determined action programme to exterminate the offending mosquito which is spreading the virus.

The Zika virus was first discovered in a monkey in 1947 in the Zika Forest in Uganda, central Africa.

That is how the Zika virus got its name.

The virus is prevalent in twenty-three countries across central and south America, especially areas of Brazil where there is low-level housing in a crowded urban area.

It is the ideal environment for the virus to spread.

Due to the nature of the virus and its transmission, it has been reported as also prevalent in several African countries and in equatorial Indonesia, south east Asia.

The World Health Organization say that we should be concerned rather than alarmed about the spread of the virus.

Nonetheless, they say it has ‘explosive pandemic potential’.

After Aids, Sars and Ebola, Zika looks like being the latest big health scare on the planet to keep us on our guard.

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