Zika-The next panic pandemic?

Good morning everyone,

Well, you won't have to guess about whether it's going to rain or not today. It's definitely going to rain-all day and into tomorrow. It should clear up at some point on Saturday and we can expect a mix of sun and clouds for the rest of the week. Highs will remain pretty constant-around 10C-all week with overnight lows around 2C or 3C.

What is Zika and should we worry about it?

Well, if you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant-then yes, you should be careful, otherwise...not so much. Zika is a virus that is spread by mosquitoes like Dengue fever (the one that caused so much panic in Tokyo last year...or was it two years ago?). However, unlike Dengue fever, the symptoms of Zika are very mild-so mild in fact, that only 1 in 5 people even show symptoms. The symptoms are a slight fever, a rash, a headache and conjunctivitis...not exactly anything to worry about, right? It's not fatal and not contagious-meaning you can't it from someone who has it. It is only passed through mosquitoes.

So, why all the panic suddenly?
Well, there has been a recent outbreak in Brazil and while there is no direct link, it could be the cause of microcephaly in children of mothers who have the disease while pregnant. Microcephaly is a condition where a child is born with an underdeveloped brain which leads to developmental problems and in some cases can be fatal.

If you're pregnant, I wouldn't be heading to the Olympics this year, otherwise don't buy into the panic that is sure to be gripping Tokyo when the first case appears in Japan. It has little to no effect on adults. On the other hand, if it hits Tokyo, I may plan a visit at its peak, as most shops and popular places will be really quiet...ha ha!

Have a great day!

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