Zika virus is an icosahedral, enveloped, single-stranded RNA virus that comes from the Flaviviridae family and genus Flavivirus.
It is transmitted in humans through a bite of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito.
In February 2016, the Zika virus infection was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an international health emergency.
Pregnant women infected by Zika virus may pass their infection to the developing fetus and may cause birth defects such as microcephaly, ventriculomegaly, intracranial calcifications, extra-axial fluid, polymicrogyria, decreased brain parenchymal volume, hypoplasia of the cerebellum, brainstem or dermis, delayed myelination, thinning or hypoplasia of the corpus callosum and cortical atrophy and malformation.
Infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) does not appear to independently affect pregnancy outcomes, although it contributes to prolonged infertility, higher odds of secondary infertility, ovulatory disorders and reduced implantation rate, a study has found.
Scientists from the Department of Microbiology, University of Hong Kong (HKU) recently discovered a compound with broad antiviral activity against viruses causing Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), avian flu (H7N9), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Zika fever.
How does it feel to be told one has contracted HIV? How equipped are doctors when breaking the news to a patient that he or she has been diagnosed with HIV? Are we able to provide people living with HIV (PLHIV) the counselling and skills required to take them through this difficult period of life? MIMS Doctor speaks to Dr Julian Hong, a general physician practicing in Singapore, about the challenges faced by both patients and doctors when faced with the difficult topic of HIV.