The Zika Virus: A Public Health Emergency

The Zika virus, is passed to people from the bite of an infected mosquito. According to the World Health Organization, the virus was declared a public health emergency as of February 1. Specifically, 30+ states have been infected with the virus, and there are severe cases in Brazil. With the summer Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro in August, many are concerned.

In the image below, the multiple cases of Zika in Brazil are seen in the northeast region.

The signs and symptoms for Zika include having a rash or fever, joint pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and now, according to the World Health organization, there is a link between microcephaly (the shrinkage of heads) and the virus. It is also a concern with pregnant women where the mother can pass the virus onto their fetus during pregnancy.

As a result, it can lead to neurological defects for the baby, and the virus can be passed onto the newborn after pregnancy. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is recommended that mothers continue to breastfeed their newborn baby in the areas that contain the virus.

To prevent Zika, Environmental Protected Agency recommends using specific types of bug repellent, to not leave standing water out, wearing longer clothing, and to apply spray on children over two-months-old.

Although it doesn't completely guarantee protection from the virus, it is the right type of prevention that needs to take action.

As of now, scientists and vaccine researchers are working on a vaccine for the Zika virus and organizations like the CDC and the WHO are updating the world on the virus as efficiently as possible.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

More on Odyssey

Facebook Comments