What is the Zika Virus?
Recently, the Zika Virus has been declared an international public health emergency by the World Health Organization. This declaration comes amidst growing concerns and fears that it can trigger serious birth defects. To date, statistics show that new infections could hit the 4 million mark by the end of 2016. The first case of Zika virus was discovered in 1947 in the Zika forest in Uganda and the first case of Zika virus in human beings was detected in 1952. Subsequent cases have been reported in Pacific Island, Southeast Asia and Africa.
Centers of Disease Control have warned pregnant women against traveling to some countries particularly in the Caribbean and Latin America where it’s feared the infection is rapidly spreading. South America, Caribbean and Central America are already affected. Pan American Health Organization has expressed concern that all countries in both North and South America will be affected except Canada and Chile.
1What Causes Zika Virus?
The Zika virus spreads primarily via a bite from an infected Aedes species mosquito and is the leading cause of the Zika virus. It should be noted that a lot of people don’t become sick enough to warrant the need to visit a doctor. In addition, Zika virus fatalities are very rare and many people don’t even realize they have the virus.
This is because the symptoms associated with Zika virus are the same as those of many other common diseases and as a result, a lot of cases are never diagnosed. Individuals who’ve been infected by the Zika virus before are likely to develop immunity from future infections.
How is Zika Virus Transmitted?
For female mosquitoes to lay eggs, they need blood. When they bite a human being, they pick the virus from the blood which travels from the gut via the circulatory system to the salivary glands. When a mosquito bites the next person, the virus now in the salivary glands is injected into the next person.