It has been a little more than a year since we initially began hearing about Zika and its connection to serious birth defects.

The Emergency Operations Center at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta was actuated to respond to Zika on January 22, 2016. Presently the EOC is preparing for the start of another mosquito season.

In the course of recent months, the CDC has learned more about the mosquito-borne illness. Specialists have discovered that 11 percent of infants born to mothers with Zika are conceived with birth defects.

Microcephaly is the main birth deformity that is seen. It causes infants to be conceived with abnormally small heads. Microcephaly is also connected with inadequate mental development.

Dr. Denise Jamieson is head of the Women's Health and Fertility Branch at the CDC. She says, "Zika is not over, Zika will be here with us until we have a powerful vaccine and all pregnant ladies are vaccinated."

She says microcephaly is just the start. Zika is also linked to other brain deformities, eye defects or central nervous system deformities.

"I believe it's important that individuals understand that we need to keep on being careful and vigilant in our efforts to battle Zika," Jamieson says.

Zika infection is transmitted to individuals primarily through the chomp of a contaminated Aedes species mosquito. These are similar mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya infections. They are difficult to control. A few specialists call them "the cockroach" of mosquitos.

Zika can also spread through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sexual partners.

It can be spread through sex, regardless of the possibility that the infected individual does not have symptoms at the time. Zika can be passed on from moms to babies in the womb – which prompts infants being conceived with extreme birth defects.

One of the most ideal approaches to avoid getting Zika is to thwart being bitten by a mosquito.

As we head into mosquito season the CDC is asking everybody to find a way to secure themselves by wearing insect repellent, try and wear long sleeves shirts, and keep away from going to regions where the infection is spreading.


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