Outbreaks

First-person account of being stricken with the Zika virus

A transmission electron micrograph (TEM) shows the Zika virus, in an undated photo provided the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia.

A transmission electron micrograph (TEM) shows the Zika virus, in an undated photo provided the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Reuters)

Contracting the Zika virus is as scary as it sounds, according to 21-year-old Brazilian college student Jade Coelho de Miranda, who was infected last year. She told The Post about her first-hand experience with the virus and its effect on her hometown of Rio de Janeiro, the epicenter of the outbreak.

Last October, I frequently hung around a large park at my college, the Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. I didn’t think much of all the mosquitoes in the area — until I broke out in a rash that covered my entire body.

I was scared.

I told my dad, and soon found myself at a hospital, where they did multiple tests that confirmed I had contracted the Zika virus.

For the next week, I had severe muscle pain and a fever, two of the most common side effects of the infection caused by Aedes mosquito bites.

My whole body felt immobilized. I started having difficulty moving my hands — feeling like they were frozen. My eyes became irritated, too.

It was a terrible week. I couldn’t go out, exercise or do anything because the joint pain was so strong.

My pain was bad, but it was nothing compared to my father’s.

He was diagnosed a few days after me. His case was worse because it developed into a rare disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome, causing him to experience weakness in his legs and upper body.

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