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THE Zika virus sparked a public health emergency with doctors warning it could, at least, cause fevers and vomiting – but at worse brain damage or even death in babies. Here we explain everything you need to know about the symptoms, treatment and …

THE Zika virus sparked a public health emergency with doctors warning it could, at least, cause fevers and vomiting – but at worse brain damage or even death in babies.

Here we explain everything you need to know about the symptoms, treatment and travel advice surrounding the bug.

Zika was first noted in Uganda in 1952, but it was in early 2015 in Brazil that the virus really began to threaten public health.

The virus generally only causes a very mild infection, with only one fifth of infected people actually becoming noticeably ill as a result of the disease.

It has also linked to the microcephaly birth defect in babies, which causes them to be born with abnormally small heads.

Doctors have now hoping to develop a vaccine that will offer total protection against the devastating effects of the Zika virus.

The Health Ministry said efforts to control the mosquitoes that spread Zika would continue as would assistance to affected families.

Brazil declared the emergency 18 months ago, during a surge in cases of Zika and associated birth defects.

Most people infected with Zika never develop symptoms, but infection during pregnancy has been linked to birth defects, including microcephaly, in which a baby’s skull is smaller than expected.

This year, Zika cases have fallen dramatically. From January through mid-April, the Health Ministry recorded 95 percent fewer cases than during the same period last year.

The World Health Organization lifted its own international emergency in November, even while saying the virus remained a threat.

However, Zika can also be transmitted sexually with the virus able to stay in an infected male’s semen for months.

Most worryingly, it can be passed on from mothers to babies in the womb – which leads to babies being born with severe birth defects.

Wearing insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers and avoiding stagnant water can all help limit your risk of being bitten.

While Zika does not necessarily impact all those who carry the virus, these are the kinds of symptoms that sufferers can experience:

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