The Zika virus infection outbreak that initially affected Brazil in early 2015  and then rapidly spread to parts of South and North America has certainly proven to be an epidemic that seriously needs to be looked into by health authorities around the world. Such has been the seriousness of this epidemic that in January 2016  the World Heath Organization (WHO) predicted that this infection will spread throughout most of the American continent by end of the year. Now with this infection having become a global epidemic it is important that we understand a few essential facts about the Zika virus infection. So given below are the five essential facts that need to be understood

1. What is Zika Virus and what are the sign and symptoms of the infection

download-16

The electron micrograph image of the Zika virus.

This infection essentially involves a virus belonging to the “flavivirus family” commonly referred to  as the “Zika Virus”. It was first discovered in the Zika forest (hence the virus name) in Uganda in the year 1947. The first major Zika virus infection outbreak according to the WHO  website was reported from the Island of Yap (Federates States of Micronesia) in the year 2007.

zika

The signs and symptoms of the Zika virus infection.

While the sign and symptoms of this infection is similar to viral infections such as dengue and includes fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pains, headaches, malaise etc.

2.  How is this infection transmitted?

aedes_aegypti_during_blood_meal

The mosquito belonging to the “Aedes aegypti” species  during a blood meal.

This infection is transmitted into humans via a bite from a mosquito belonging to the “Aedes aegypti” species. This mosquito (same species that transmits dengue infection) normally bites during the day. It has also been observed that sexual transmission of this infection is possible. In addition, the possibility that the Zika virus infection can also be transmitted via blood transfusion is currently being investigated.

3. The diagnosis and treatment related to this infection

 

At the moment there are no specific diagnostic tests available in the market. The only diagnosis available is through interpretations of signs and symptoms or via studying recent travel history of the subject supposedly infected by the virus. Although, a test that determines the antibodies in the blood thereby indicating whether or not the immune system of the subject in question has ever fought the virus is available, it has proven to be ineffective.

As for treatment, there is no specific treatment that is available. The major reason behind this being that for years scientists considered this virus to be benign, and hence not worthy enough to be carefully studied. Although general precautions such as drinking plenty of fluids, taking plenty of rest, treating pain and fever via antibiotics can be taken. In addition, there is no specific vaccination available for this infection thus far.

4. The most affected group due to this infection

download-17

Pregnant woman are at greater risks due to the Zika virus infection.

It is mainly pregnant women who live in or travel to  Zika virus infested region  that are at risk due to this infection. The major reason being that this virus tends to induce severe birth defects.

5. The present and future impact of the Zika virus infection epidemic

zika_phylogenetic_analysis_map

The impact of the Zika virus infection outbreak as seen via a timeline.

Such has been the impact of the Zika virus infection especially in the American continent that there has been approximately 1000 confirmed cases of birth defects as of May 2016. It has also been found that more than 400 Americans as of now have contracted this infection while travelling overseas. The fact that each year about 40 million Americans travel to Zika infested country out of which 500,000 are pregnant women indicates a definite possibility of the virus rampantly spreading throughout the United States. In a country like Puerto Rico as of May 2016 there has been more than 700 confirmed cases that includes 89 pregnant women.

So with countries like Papua Guinea, Peru, Chile becoming the latest victims of the Zika (according to WHO) virus infection outbreaks one can only hope that in time scientists will eventually develop a specific treatment and vaccination for this virus known as “ZIKA”.

 

 

 

 

http://newzfeaturez.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/download-16-1.jpghttp://newzfeaturez.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/download-16-1-150x150.jpgadminHealthLifestyleLifestyle and Health
The Zika virus infection outbreak that initially affected Brazil in early 2015  and then rapidly spread to parts of South and North America has certainly proven to be an epidemic that seriously needs to be looked into by health authorities around the world. Such has been the seriousness of...