Zika Virus: People are wondering if there is a vaccine available l to this imminent epidemic.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently issued a warning that the Zika virus is spreading in the Americas in a manner that can only be termed as explosive. It also said that the virus is likely to affect around four million people in the region during the current year. Moreover, CDC officials have advised pregnant women against travelling to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean where Zika has already taken the form of an epidemic.
Zika virus infection is linked to brain damage and under development of the brain in newborn babies. Officials have also warned that pregnant women who have visited Zika infected regions must get them tested. Below, you will find some answers regarding the Zika virus outbreak and how it threatens the people in America.
What is Zika Virus?
The Zika virus is a tropical infection that has hit the Western Hemisphere for the first time. The infection is transmitted through mosquitos and is related to tallow fever, dengue and West Nile virus. It was first discovered in Africa. The Zika virus in the Western Hemisphere occurred in last May in Brazil.
The Zika is spreading rapidly and there is a possibility that millions of people in the Americas have been infected by it. In most people, the infection does not show any symptoms. Scientists are, however, focused on infected pregnant women who may develop a temporary paralysis after being infected.
How does the Zika Virus spread?
Zika virus is primarily spread through Aedes mosquitos that breed in a pool of water. It bites during the day. Though the main cause of the spread of Zika is the Aedes mosquito, it can also spread through transfusion of blood and also through sexual intercourse.
How Zika virus causes brain damage in newborns?
There is no clear answer to this question yet. The link between Zika and small heads in infants was only discovered in October last year when there was a sudden surge in such babies in the Northern parts of Brazil.
This may have been caused due to other factors, but circumstantial evidence suggests that this may be the main cause.
What is meant by microcephaly?
Babies with microcephaly have very small heads. In around 15 percent of such cases, the small head does not have any other effect on the baby.
In some cases, however, the brain of the child is not properly developed during the pregnancy stages. Such children are bound to experience a lot of problems including loss of hearing, intelligence deficit and delays in development.
Is there are vaccine or a treatment available for Zika virus infection?
There is none.
There is no official recommendation from the CDC for Zika virus infection. The symptoms – if they do appear – are very mild and can be treated with nourishment, rest and care.