87 Views

Why The Zika Virus Is Causing Alarm

Washington – Global health officials have said that the Zika virus, which has been linked to severe birth defects in thousands of babies in Brazil, is rapidly spreading in the Americas and could infect up to 4 million people.

The race is on to develop a Zika vaccine.

Here are some key questions and answers about the virus and the current outbreak…

How do people become infected?

The virus is transmitted to people through the bite of infected female Aedes mosquitoes, the same type of mosquito that spreads dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) said Aedes mosquitoes are found in all countries in the Americas except Canada and continental Chile, and the virus will likely reach all countries and territories of the region where Aedes mosquitoes are found.

How do you treat Zika infection?

There is no treatment or vaccine available for Zika infection. Companies and scientists are racing to develop a safe and effective vaccine for Zika, but one is not expected to be ready for months or years.

How dangerous is it?

The PAHO said there is no evidence that Zika can cause death, but some cases have been reported with more serious complications in patients with pre-existing medical conditions.

The virus has been linked to microcephaly, a condition in newborns marked by abnormally small heads and brains that have not developed properly. It also has been associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system. Scientists are studying whether there is a causal link between Zika and these two disorders.

How is Zika related to microcephaly?

Health officials have yet to establish a direct causal relationship between Zika virus infection and birth defects, but it is strongly suspected. Brazil has reported more than 4 000 cases of suspected microcephaly that may be linked to Zika. Researchers have identified evidence of Zika infection in 17 of these cases, either in the baby or in the mother.

It is unclear whether in pregnant women the virus crosses the placenta and causes microcephaly. Research in Brazil indicates the greatest microcephaly risk appears to be associated with infection during the first trimester of pregnancy.

What are the symptoms of Zika infection?

People who get Zika virus disease typically have a mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain and fatigue that can last for two to seven days. But as many as 80 percent of people infected never develop symptoms. The symptoms are similar to those of dengue or chikungunya, which are transmitted by the same type of mosquito.

ALSO READ  Zika Virus: Nigeria Among Most Vulnerable Countries, Says Lancet Study

How can Zika be contained?

Efforts to control the spread of the virus focus on eliminating mosquito breeding sites and taking precautions against mosquito bites such as using insect repellent and mosquito nets. US health officials have advised pregnant women to avoid travel to Latin American and Caribbean countries where they may be exposed to Zika.

How widespread is the outbreak in the Americas?

Health officials said Zika outbreaks have been reported in at least 26 countries in the Americas. Brazil has been the nation most affected. Other nations and territories include Barbados, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Suriname, Venezuela and the US Virgin Islands, according to the PAHO.

What is the history of the Zika virus?

The Zika virus is found in tropical locales with large mosquito populations. Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, southern Asia and the western Pacific. The virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys and was first identified in people in 1952 in Uganda and Tanzania, according to the World Health Organisation.

Can Zika be transmitted through sexual contact?

Two cases of possible person-to-person sexual transmission has been described, but the PAHO said more evidence is needed to confirm whether sexual contact is a means of Zika transmission.

The PAHO also said Zika can be transmitted through blood, but this is an infrequent transmission mechanism. There is no evidence the virus can be transmitted to babies through breast milk.

What other complications are associated with Zika?

The WHO says because no big Zika outbreaks were recorded before 2007, little is known about complications caused by infection. During an outbreak of Zika from 2013-2014 in French Polynesia, national health authorities reported an unusual increase in Guillain-Barre syndrome. Health authorities in Brazil have also reported an increase in Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Long-term health consequences of Zika infection remain unclear. Other uncertainties surround the incubation period of the virus and how Zika interacts with other viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes such as dengue.

source: iol

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Latest Posts

This Soldier Has Promised N100K To Anybody Who Helps Find His Best Friend. [Photos]
Inspiring
58 views
Inspiring
58 views

This Soldier Has Promised N100K To Anybody Who Helps Find His Best Friend. [Photos]

MT - January 18, 2018

A Nigerian soldier simply identified as Daniel is set to give out N100,000 to anybody who could find his secondary schoolmate and best friend, Anthony Nwadike a.k.a…

“Buhari Didn’t Say He May Not Contest In 2019” – Presidency Rubbishes Reuters
Politics
52 views
Politics
52 views

“Buhari Didn’t Say He May Not Contest In 2019” – Presidency Rubbishes Reuters

MT - January 18, 2018

President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday he does not know if he will seek re-election in 2019 and the decision is personal and also for Nigerians. Buhari,…

Governor Ortom Reacts To Claims By Prof. Muhammad That Benue State Belongs To Fulani
Politics
60 views
Politics
60 views

Governor Ortom Reacts To Claims By Prof. Muhammad That Benue State Belongs To Fulani

MT - January 18, 2018

The Benue State Government has reacted to the claim by Professor Umar Labdo Muhammad of the Faculty of Humanities, Northwest University, Kano that Benue State belongs to…

See How Patience Jonathan’s Multimillion Naira Abuja Property Was Demolished (VIDEO)
Politics
65 views
Politics
65 views

See How Patience Jonathan’s Multimillion Naira Abuja Property Was Demolished (VIDEO)

MT - January 18, 2018

These are not the happiest of times for Nigeria’s former first lady, Patience Jonathan after the Court of Appeal (Lagos Division) on Friday upheld an order of…

Reekado Banks Manager, Temi, Arrested Over Two Million Naira
Entertainment
50 views
Entertainment
50 views

Reekado Banks Manager, Temi, Arrested Over Two Million Naira

MT - January 18, 2018

Mavin singer, Reekado Banks has been dragged to the police station for failing to show up at an event he received 2 million naira for, LIB claims.…

How To Fight Malaria With Toothpaste – New Study
Food and Health
57 views
Food and Health
57 views

How To Fight Malaria With Toothpaste – New Study

PH - January 18, 2018

Research carried out in part by an Artificially-Intelligent (AI)’robot scientist’ has found that a common ingredient of toothpaste could be developed to fight drug-resistant strains of malaria.…

Reasons Why Your Smartphone Gets Hot – What You Need To Know
Inspiring
64 views
Inspiring
64 views

Reasons Why Your Smartphone Gets Hot – What You Need To Know

MT - January 18, 2018

  Ever had that experience where your smartphone gets so hot you think it’ll explode? You are eventually left wondering if it’s a phone issue, a battery…

6 Health Benefits Of Laughter: Why Humor Is Your Best Medicine
Best of Nigeria
46 views
Best of Nigeria
46 views

6 Health Benefits Of Laughter: Why Humor Is Your Best Medicine

MT - January 18, 2018

  Laughter which is just as natural as breathing, is a physical response to stimuli when our senses are exposed to something good or “funny”. Even a slight…

Li-Fi: How Scientists Will Replace Wi-Fi With Super Fast Internet Speed Li-Fi
Technology
56 views
Technology
56 views

Li-Fi: How Scientists Will Replace Wi-Fi With Super Fast Internet Speed Li-Fi

MT - January 18, 2018

  Light Fidelity or Li-Fi is a new scientific breakthrough which promises to make our phones and laptops a lot faster. It is a Visible Light Communications…

Wives Of Nigerian Billionaires: The 6 Success Pillars You Must Know
Best of Nigeria
73 views
Best of Nigeria
73 views

Wives Of Nigerian Billionaires: The 6 Success Pillars You Must Know

MT - January 18, 2018

  Behind the money, fame and power that popular Nigerian billionaires exude are some women of steel who you may never have heard of. While trying to…

7 Amazing Reasons Why You Should Own A Dog
Lifestyle
51 views
Lifestyle
51 views

7 Amazing Reasons Why You Should Own A Dog

MT - January 18, 2018

  Dogs have over the years been known as man’s best friend and it has been shown that a dog offers more than just companionship to its owners.…

Soy Milk: 5 Reasons Why This Healthy Drink Is Ideal For Your Diet
Food and Health
46 views
Food and Health
46 views

Soy Milk: 5 Reasons Why This Healthy Drink Is Ideal For Your Diet

MT - January 18, 2018

Soy milk produced from soybeans is a natural plant beverage which offers high nutritional value and a good dairy alternative. It is generally believed that soy milk is healthier…

Lady Who Says She Can’t Date A Guy That Earns 100k Spotted Begging Don Jazzy & Tekno For 50k
Shocking
55 views
Shocking
55 views

Lady Who Says She Can’t Date A Guy That Earns 100k Spotted Begging Don Jazzy & Tekno For 50k

MT - January 18, 2018

Yesterday, a social media user, Toke caused an uproar on social media, after she declined a request to date a guy who earns N100,000 salary monthly. She…

Yoruba Actress And Mother of 2, Iyabo Ojo Shares Lovely Family Photos With Her Kids
Entertainment
59 views
Entertainment
59 views

Yoruba Actress And Mother of 2, Iyabo Ojo Shares Lovely Family Photos With Her Kids

MT - January 18, 2018

Nollywood Yoruba actress Iyabo Ojo and single mum of two has just released some new family photos and we are loving them! Recall she narrated how she…

Pretty Burn Survivor, Shares Touching Story Of How She Suffered 3rd Degree Burns and 4 Surgeries -Photo
Inspiring
85 views
Inspiring
85 views

Pretty Burn Survivor, Shares Touching Story Of How She Suffered 3rd Degree Burns and 4 Surgeries -Photo

MT - January 18, 2018

Julie S.-Future is a 24-year old burn survivor who suffered a terrible accident in 2016 that left parts of her skin cooked, spent 4 weeks in the…

Face Of Nigerian Billionaire, Walter Wagbatsoma Jailed In UK Over N754million Oil Subsidy Fraud
Shocking
84 views
Shocking
84 views

Face Of Nigerian Billionaire, Walter Wagbatsoma Jailed In UK Over N754million Oil Subsidy Fraud

MT - January 18, 2018

Walter Wagbatsoma, chairman, Ontario Oil & Gas Limited who was sentenced to 10 years following his prosecution by EFCC for N754million oil subsidy fraud, has been convicted…

Former Beauty Queen, Anna Banner Still As Stunning As The 1st Day She Won The Pageant (See Photos)
Entertainment
68 views
Entertainment
68 views

Former Beauty Queen, Anna Banner Still As Stunning As The 1st Day She Won The Pageant (See Photos)

MT - January 18, 2018

Former most beautiful girl Anna Banner still as Stunning as the first day she won the pageant!

Revealed: See The 3 Countries To Face Super Eagles In 2018 World Cup Warm-Up
Sports
84 views
Sports
84 views

Revealed: See The 3 Countries To Face Super Eagles In 2018 World Cup Warm-Up

MT - January 18, 2018

Nigeria has on Wednesday announced friendlies against Serbia, Czech Republic, and Congo as part of their preparations for the World Cup finals, NAN reports. The president of…

Loading...