Taking its name from the Zika Forest in Uganda, where it was isolated the first time in 1947, the zika virus is transmitted mainly by the bites from the female Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The virus became the most talked health scare in 2015.
Is the Zika Virus Still a Problem?
The highest rates of infection occurred in 2015, affecting primarily the Americas but specifically Brazil, where the outbreak began. Rapidly, the zika virus spread to other countries in the Caribbean, and North, Central and South Americas.
Fever, red eyes, joint pain, muscle pain, and rashes are the first symptoms of the virus. Microcephaly in pregnancy and Guillain–Barre syndrome in adults, are the long-term side effects involved.
Although there is no a vaccine developed yet or a well-structured treatment, prevention methods are clear and easily done: cover up as much as possible, keep physical barriers such as windows and doors closed, and mosquito repellent that could thwart being bitten.
It is a matter of record that the transmission of the zika virus can occur through sexual intercourse from a symptomatic man to and a woman. Furthermore, the virus can be passed during pregnancy through, what is called, vertical “mother-to-child” transmission. Finally, a person can become infected from a blood transfusion.
Zika Virus Danger Zones
One of the biggest concerns of the healthcare organizations has been to let the travelers know which zones the virus is still latent. In the United States, only Texas and Florida are currently areas under caution. However, there have been recent cases of the virus reported in New York City, with 38, and 20 in California.
Professional experts on the matter say that 99 percent of the cases reported in 2017 have been from traveling outside of the United States. The other one percent is from sexual transmission.
Internationally, the Latin American region and vast zones of the African continent are still the leading countries with most cases and high odds of infection. Yet, in Singapore had confirmed at least 52 cases of Zika Virus, 57 in the Philippines, and India reported three.
The infection is almost abated in the U.S. However, the CDC warns that the zika virus is still a threat and calls on the population to follow the prevention guides and recommendations.
“Zika hasn’t gone away,” said CDC acting director Dr. Anne Schuchat, “We can’t afford to be complacent.” In other words, as the expression goes, “better to be safe than sorry.”
Written by Bassil Sockar
Edited by Cathy Milne
BT: Zika virus: What is zika and where is it still a threat?
WNCT 9 News: Zika virus numbers lower than in previous years
M&C Events: New Cases of Zika Virus Appear to Be Abating in U.S.
PM News: Zika Virus: Singapore Confirms 4 New Cases
The New York Times: Case of Zika Virus, Likely Spread by Mosquito, Is Reported in Texas
CDC: Areas with Risk of Zika
Rappler: 57 Zika cases in PH – DOH
CBC News: India reports its first cases of Zika virus
News Tribune: Zika virus: The threat continues
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