576 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  Unbelievable!! This Girl Turned Up For Her High School Prom In A Coffin!! Her reason will shock you... (Photos)  

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

Otedola and Dangote Attend UBA’s Award Night
Business
8 views
Business
8 views

Otedola and Dangote Attend UBA’s Award Night

PH - April 24, 2018

Billionaires Femi Otedola and Aliko Dangote were present at UBA’s award night to support their friend, Chairman of UBA Tony Elumelu. Otedola shared a photo of the…

5 Ways Women Push Men Away
Romance and Love
7 views
Romance and Love
7 views

5 Ways Women Push Men Away

PH - April 24, 2018

Falling in love and starting a relationship can be quite easy but the real task is how best to make the romance last. A relationship tends to…

Police Finally Reveals the Main Reason Senator Dino Melaye Was Arrested (See Details)
Politics
24 views
Politics
24 views

Police Finally Reveals the Main Reason Senator Dino Melaye Was Arrested (See Details)

MT - April 24, 2018

There was some mild drama yesterday as a controversial senator representing Kogi state at the National Assembly, Dino Melaye, was arrested as he attempted to leave the…

How Kebbi State Government Publicly Disregarded First Wife, Aisha Bagudu As State’s First Lady
Politics
62 views
Politics
62 views

How Kebbi State Government Publicly Disregarded First Wife, Aisha Bagudu As State’s First Lady

MT - April 23, 2018

A mild drama recently occurred on Twitter leading to a public revelation that the popular Aisha Bagudu isn't recognized as first lady.  Recently, one of the national…

Moment Nigerian Singer Mayorkun Re-United With His Dad After Two Years
Entertainment
89 views
Entertainment
89 views

Moment Nigerian Singer Mayorkun Re-United With His Dad After Two Years

MT - April 23, 2018

Singer Mayorkun has reunited with his dad in Dallas. The singer says the last time he saw his dad was two years ago when he was still…

#BBNaija Special: According to Google, Cee-C is the Most Bitter Woman in Nigeria
Buzz & Trends
64 views
Buzz & Trends
64 views

#BBNaija Special: According to Google, Cee-C is the Most Bitter Woman in Nigeria

MT - April 23, 2018

Cynthia Nwadiora popularly identified as Cee-C was tagged a very bitter and angry person following her controversial activities at the Big Brother Naija reality show which was…

How Lagos Saved N4.5bn From Non-sponsorship Of Pilgrimages
Politics
53 views
Politics
53 views

How Lagos Saved N4.5bn From Non-sponsorship Of Pilgrimages

PH - April 23, 2018

The Lagos State Government says it has saved a total of N4.5billion in the last three years since it stopped funding pilgrimages. According to it, the feat…

Afrobeat Artiste, Seun Kuti, Unveils New Album “Black Times”
Entertainment
56 views
Entertainment
56 views

Afrobeat Artiste, Seun Kuti, Unveils New Album “Black Times”

PH - April 23, 2018

Afrobeat artiste Seun Kuti has announced a new album, “Black Times“. According to him, “Black Times is a true reflection of my political and social beliefs; it…

Former Super Eagles Star, Femi Opabunmi Reveals How He Became Blind
Politics
62 views
Politics
62 views

Former Super Eagles Star, Femi Opabunmi Reveals How He Became Blind

MT - April 23, 2018

There is a photo of Femi Opabunmi trying to mark David Beckham in what look liked a set-piece situation during Nigeria’s goalless draw against England in a…

#BBNaija: See All the Prizes Miracle Will Be Going Home With After He Emerged Winner
Entertainment
68 views
Entertainment
68 views

#BBNaija: See All the Prizes Miracle Will Be Going Home With After He Emerged Winner

MT - April 23, 2018

Big Brother Naija 2018 winner, Miracle Igbokwe is still counting his blessings after winning the reality television show yesterday night. A list of all the prizes he…

Read Vimbai’s Open Letter to #BBNaija Housemates
Entertainment
60 views
Entertainment
60 views

Read Vimbai’s Open Letter to #BBNaija Housemates

PH - April 23, 2018

Former Big Brother Africa housemate and media personality, Vimbai Mutinhiri in a new post on her Instagram page, has a message for the housemates from the recently…

25-yr-old Nigerian Man Becomes Africa’s first PhD holder in National Security Strategy In The UK
Best of Nigeria
73 views
Best of Nigeria
73 views

25-yr-old Nigerian Man Becomes Africa’s first PhD holder in National Security Strategy In The UK

PH - April 23, 2018

A 25-year-old U.K based Nigerian man and Twitter @olamideDIY just achieved a great feat of becoming Africa’s first PhD holder in National Security Strategy. Sharing the amazing…

Actress Omoni Oboli Launches Feeding Outreach “Sister Lizzy’s Kitchen” in memory of Late Mum
Entertainment
56 views
Entertainment
56 views

Actress Omoni Oboli Launches Feeding Outreach “Sister Lizzy’s Kitchen” in memory of Late Mum

PH - April 23, 2018

Nollywood actress and latest author in town, Omoni Oboli, turned forty yesterday and to celebrate her new age, she spent her day with the children of Makoko…

Nigeria’s Chinedu Moghalu Appointed Head, Communications & Advocacy, Africa Risk Capacity/UN WFP
World Buzz
63 views
World Buzz
63 views

Nigeria’s Chinedu Moghalu Appointed Head, Communications & Advocacy, Africa Risk Capacity/UN WFP

PH - April 23, 2018

Chinedu Moghalu, a Nigerian, has been appointed the Senior Communications Specialist/Head, Communications & Advocacy for the Africa Risk Capacity/United Nations World Food Programme, based in Johannesburg, South…

#BBNaija’s Teddy-A Surprises BamBam on her Birthday (Photo)
Entertainment
70 views
Entertainment
70 views

#BBNaija’s Teddy-A Surprises BamBam on her Birthday (Photo)

PH - April 23, 2018

Today is Big Brother Naija’s BamBam’s birthday, and to celebrate, her one-time strategic partner in the house Teddy-A paid her a surprise. According to Olorisupergal, Teddy-A threw…

#BBNaija’s BamBam to launch Beauty Oils on her Birthday
Business
63 views
Business
63 views

#BBNaija’s BamBam to launch Beauty Oils on her Birthday

PH - April 23, 2018

Bam Beauty Oils – that’s the brand name of the beauty oil collection Big Brother Naija’s BamBam is set to launch on her birthday, April 23. BamBam…

#BBNaija’s Teddy A To Launch Clothing Line “Badman Apparel”
Entertainment
62 views
Entertainment
62 views

#BBNaija’s Teddy A To Launch Clothing Line “Badman Apparel”

PH - April 23, 2018

Hot out of the “Big Brother Naija” house, evicted housemate Teddy A is set to launch a clothing line. The musician made the announcement on his Twitter,…

Omoni Oboli Celebrates 40th Birthday With New Book
Entertainment
52 views
Entertainment
52 views

Omoni Oboli Celebrates 40th Birthday With New Book

PH - April 23, 2018

You can now add author as a title when referring to Nollywood actress Omoni Oboli who turned 40 today. To celebrate the big 4-0, the actress has…

Loading...