The Zika virus is mainly spread through the bite of an infected female Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito (vector). This virus was first noticed in the Zika Forest in Uganda in 1947, but over time there have been reports of Zika outbreaks in southeastern and southern Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Americas.
It is hard to say how many people have the virus but it’s estimated that around 120 million people in Brazil are at risk of Zika virus infections, compared to 32 million people in Mexico and 29.5 million in Columbia.
Over time the Zika virus has become a global problem because of how it’s spreading. On 1 February 2016, WHO declared the events a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
Is it serious?
According to the INDEPENDENT, the virus isn’t dangerous to anyone apart from pregnant women, only one in 5 people will experience the symptoms of having the virus after being bitten.
There is at this moment no vaccine for the Zika virus, but the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends you to Stay in air-conditioned or well-screened housing, wear protective clothing and to wear bug repellent.
The Zika virus is only active during dusk, dawn and at night so if you apply all these non- medical preventing methods you should be safe but the CDC advises that you don’t travel to places that has detected the Zika virus.
These methods don’t affect the environment not do they affect any cultures.
No particular antiviral treatment is accessible for Zika infection. Treatment, for the most part, can include rest, liquids, and utilize of analgesics and antipyretics. Headache medicine and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are adviced not to be used due to the risking of reducing hemorrhage.
At this moment there is nothing on current research to treat/prevent the Zika virus even though its a global problem.
The main symptoms of the Zika virus include: a rash, itching all over the body, a high temperature, a headache, joint pain (with possible swelling, mainly in the smaller joints of the hands and feet), muscle pain, red eyes (conjunctivitis), lower back pain and pain behind the eyes according to the NHS.
The Zika virus can be passed on from the mother to her fetus. Getting bitten whilst pregnant cause a birth defect called microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects to the child. The Zika virus can also spread through sexual intercourse.
- “Clinical Evaluation & Disease | Zika Virus | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/zika/hc-providers/preparing-for-zika/clinicalevaluationdisease.html
- NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/conditions/zika/.
- “What We Know about Zika and Pregnancy | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/zika/pregnancy.html.
- “Zika Virus.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 21 Dec. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/zika-virus/symptoms-causes/syc-20353639.
- “Zika: the Continuing Threat.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 21 Dec. 2018, www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/97/1/19-020119/en/.
- “Zika: Then, Now, and Tomorrow.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 14 Mar. 2017, www.who.int/emergencies/zika-virus/articles/then-now-hugonnet/en/.