First-person account of being stricken with the Zika virus

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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