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IT is the virus spread by mosquitoes that threatened to derail last year’s Olympic Games in Brazil. But even though cases of the Zika virus have dropped across world, everybody, especially pregnant women, is still being warned to protect themselves … IT is the virus spread by mosquitoes that threatened to derail last year’s Olympic Games in Brazil.  But even though cases of the Zika virus have dropped across world, everybody, especially pregnant women, is still being warned to protect themselves against the disease.

But even though cases of the Zika virus have dropped across world, everybody, especially pregnant women, is still being warned to protect themselves against the disease.

Scientists hope it could be the key to treating the devastating disease and curing cancer as they launch the first trial into the theory.

In adults, the symptoms of Zika are surprisingly mild, with only one fifth of infected people actually becoming noticeably ill as a result of the disease.

Sufferers tend to come down with a fever, as well as suffering from aches, conjunctivitis and skin rashes.

Viral infections, such as Zika, can be passed on from mothers to babies in the womb, which can result in babies being born with malformed brains.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent a Zika infection, with general prevention against mosquito bites the best way to minimise the chances of contracting the disease.

Some South American countries have taken the extreme steps of advising women not to get pregnant until more is known about the disease, and the effect it has on babies.

Meanwhile, adult sufferers don’t usually need treatment, with infected people advised to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest as their body fights back on its own.

It’s recommended that pregnant women do not travel to areas affected by the Zika epidemic unless absolutely essential.

Travellers have also been warned to sleep under mosquito nets to avoid being infected.

If you are a woman who is trying to get pregnant and you travel to an affected area, you should avoid conceiving while you are there and for eight weeks after you get home.

Meanwhile, men who have travelled to areas with active Zika transmission but have no symptoms must ensure their partners use contraception and condoms during sex to prevent pregnancy sexual transmission for eight weeks.

If you are a man and you do experience symptoms, these measures should be taken for six months after symptoms started.

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