Exclusive interview with Brazilian man infected with Zika virus - DatelineCarolina

Exclusive interview with Brazilian man infected with Zika virus

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Marcos Costa gave an interview via Skype to tell us about his experience with the Zika virus Marcos Costa gave an interview via Skype to tell us about his experience with the Zika virus
Costa is from the city of Governador Valadares in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais. Costa is from the city of Governador Valadares in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais.
Dr. Tonya Colpitts showed the areas in her lab that will soon be used for mosquito testing. Dr. Tonya Colpitts showed the areas in her lab that will soon be used for mosquito testing.

By Malique Rankin

Marcos Costa is one of the estimated 1 million people in Brazil that have been infected with the Zika virus. Experts are closely watching the mosquito born virus that has been heavily affecting countries in South America and the Caribbean.

Through a Skype interview, Costa told Carolina News how his case was similar to many.

"My symptoms included headaches, fever, joint pain in my hands and fingers, and pain in my back," said Costa, in his native Portuguese. 

There is no cure for the Zika virus, carried mainly by mosquitoes. Costa said doctors could only offer him pain medication to help his discomfort and reduce his fever. His symptoms lasted close to a week; during that time, he made sure to stay hydrated.

When asked what advice he had for Americans when it comes to the Zika virus, Costa said that cleanliness is key. He recommended removal of all trash and any items that can hold standing water. Standing water easily becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Dr. Tonya Colpitts is an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. She researches the Dengue virus, carried by the same aedes aegypti mosquito that is spreading Zika around the globe.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a global emergency with the widespread virus becoming an epidemic. The aedes aegypti mosquito is common in the South and concerns have been rising.

"I don't think there is any need to panic right now. I know it's really scary, especially for pregnant women," said Colpitts. The main concern goes towards those who are traveling to countries that are heavily infected with the virus.

Some South Carolinians are taking precautions. More than 25 people in South Carolina are being tested for the virus.

Colpitts will be receiving a mosquitoes chamber within the next week to begin testing the dengue virus on the mosquitoes. The lab is hopeful to receive permission to bring the Zika virus in their facility for testing.

You can find out more about the Zika virus on the CDC website.

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