The latest virus to cause a world health crisis, the Zika virus is a mosquito-borne affliction which is sweeping through Latin America. With more than 1 million cases reported since last May, the WHO has convened emergency meetings in Geneva to decide how to respond to the outbreak. Let’s Pacific Cross tell you what is Zika virus?
Frist time, Zika virus was found in monkey’s blood in the Zika Forest, Uganda in 1947. After that, whenever disease was outbreak in Southeast Asia, Africa or Micronesia , people always found them. Before the latest outbreak in Latin America, the biggest reported outbreak was in Micronesia in 2013 which affected 28,000 people. Most people in that outbreak had the typical mild cold-like symptoms of Zika virus, but a few were diagnosed with a rare neurologic condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome, in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves, causing muscle weakness and paralysis.
Zika virus spreads through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, the same type that carries dengue fever, chikungunya, and yellow fever. Aedes mosquitoes start to breed as soon as the temperature reaches 60 degrees Fahrenheit. What’s especially annoying about this mosquito, compared with the kind that spreads West Nile virus, is that Aedes is an aggressive biter. It likes to live in our homes and it bites during the day.
According to WHO, in Brazil, Among 6776 microcephaly cases, there were 944 cases related with Zika virus. Because of this suspected relationship, Center for disease control prevention has given advise for pregnants that they shouldn’t come to more than 20 countries where Zika disease outbreak. In some countries, including Jamaica, El Salvador and Colombia, women are being advised to consider delaying pregnancy until the outbreak slows down.