For months, people across America have been hearing troubling stories about the spread of the Zika virus across other nations, particularly in South America. And although the threat of an outbreak here in the States has been a frightening thought to many people, the threat seemed to be kept at bay until recently. And now reports have revealed that a major star, Beenie Man, has now contracted the virus.
The legendary Jamaican artist announced that he has the disease yesterday when he shared the news with fans on his Instagram page that he had to cancel his headlining set on the second night of Drake’s OVO Festival because he was denied entry into Canada over his diagnosis.
“Jah know…dah week ya deal wid me a way!! No visa fi mi Canada show (I apologize again to my fans in case you haven’t seen the press release). Zika Virus hol’ mi. The same Zika mosquito gi mi dengue. Blood test, injections, pills. Wi a hol firm still. Selassie a guide I n I right through so once mi have life me a give thanks. #Unstoppable,” Beenie Man wrote.
The Zika virus is a communicable disease that can be spread through mosquito bites, sex, from a pregnant woman to her baby, and through blood transfusions. Most people who are infected with the disease won’t experience any symptoms, while some won’t experience anything more than mild symptoms such as fever, rash, joint pain, headache and conjunctivitis.
However, the virus is especially dangerous for pregnant women because when the virus is passed to infants in utero it can cause a number of severe fetal birth defects, including microcephaly, which causes the infant’s brain and head to be smaller than normal.
Right now there is no vaccine to prevent the Zika virus and the disease can stay in an infected person’s blood for about a week. Once a person has had the disease once, they are likely to be protected from future infections.
But Beenie Man isn’t the only one who was diagnosed with the disease. Earlier this week, news sources revealed that the first known cases of the virus being transmitted by mosquitos in the continental United States occurred in Florida when four people in Miami-Dade and Broward counties were diagnosed with Zika.