It has started last year, when I heard the name Zika for the first time. Suddenly this word appeared in the air and people started to talk about it. Some of my friends got infected. It was even funny in the beginning. The face gets read and a bit swollen, so the person looks like it had a great party the day before and exceeded the limit of alcohol a bit. They were also scratching themselves all the time. So I was laughing, but the one laughs last, laughs longest and finally I got the virus myself. It started from the headache that was not going away and no pills were helping. It lasted 2-3 days. When my arms started to get red I realized that I got the famous Zika. Then it was the same scheme – swollen red face and itching body. Also I felt tired all the time, so I had to cancel my holidays in Bahia which I was planning before. I did not do any special treatment – only a lot of water and sleep and after the 5-6 days Zika went away.
After some time the wave of epidemy among my friends passed and I already forgot about it when suddenly my friends from different countries started to ask me if I am ok, my mum asked me to return back to Russia urgently!!! It was the time when foreign media started to get concerned because it was suspected that the cases of the microcephaly by new born kids were linked to Zika.
It is important to understand the reason for the international concerns – microcephaly is the disease which can not be cured and the kid will stay mentally disable for the rest of the life. The pregnant women definitely need to stay away from the areas of possible spreading of Zika. However for the rest the virus is not dangerous and has only mild symptoms.
Svetlana came to Maceió to volunteer two years ago. Since then she has been living with us, helping by organisation and implementation of our projects.
To know more about Zika virus check the page of World Health Organisation: Zika Virus – Questions and Answers