Are You Afraid of the Zika Virus?

The Zika virus is a member of the Flaviviridae virus family.  According to Wikipedia, it is spread by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes. The name of the virus comes from a forest (Zika Forest) in Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947

Since being isolated in 1947, it was known to mostly occur within a narrow equatorial belt stretching from Africa to Asia. However, by 2007, the virus had begun spreading eastward, crossing the Pacific Ocean and reaching the Americas, leading to the Zika virus epidemic of 2015 to 2016.

Beginning in Brazil in 2015, the epidemic bread to other parts of South America and then into North America. In February of 2016, the World Health Organization had declared the Zika virus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, as doctors began to see that the virus caused neurological problems as well as birth defects.  In adults Zika infections may result (rarely) in Guillain–Barré syndrome.

By November of 2016, however, the international medical community felt the worst of the epidemic was over, and declared an end to the Zika epidemic.

While the Zika virus still makes headlines and is a troubling development in people who contract the virus.

With that in mind, we were curious to determine how many people are consciously fearful of contracting the virus. All told, we found that somewhat more than one in ten (13%) said that they were either very or somewhat fearful of contracting the Zika Virus, while most (84%) were not fearful.

The detailed breakout is shown in the table below.

Not At All Fearful 54%
Not Very Fearful 31%
Somewhat Fearful 9%
Very Fearful 4%
What’s the Zika Virus? 3%

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