Americans Should be Prepared for the Arrival of Zika Virus

Carried through Aedes mosquitoes, the Zika virus spreads quickly without showing any symptoms in earlier stages.

Americans Should be Prepared for the Arrival of Zika Virus

American health officials must make preparations for the arrival of Zika virus that seems all but inevitable now. The Zika Virus – an infection Bourne by mosquitoes – has already spread to around 2 dozen countries in the Americas posing threat to pregnant women in particular.

It is being feared by health experts that Zika virus will spread to every country in the Western Hemisphere including the United States, where Aedes mosquitoes are present. These mosquitos are the prime carriers of this virus. Unfortunately, Aedes mosquitoes are found in every country of the Western Hemisphere except for Chile and Canada.

Though Zika virus is a risk to everyone, but its link to the recent increase in birth defects in Brazil is especially worrisome. The defects include incomplete brains and small skulls in newborn babies.

Health officials are also worried that international travelling will also contribute towards the spread of this virus. Zika virus infection is not contagious but if a mosquito carrying it enters a plane bound for the US it may contribute to the spread of the disease. A Native American virus can also become a carrier if it bites a person who is infected. This is why American health officials are warning that Zika will come to the USA, and it will come fairly soon.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci said that the US could experience a tiny cluster of Zika virus infections. But he was hopeful that America will be able to contain the spread of this virus like it has contained dengue and chikungunya. These diseases are also spread by the same mosquitos.

A travel alert was issued earlier during the month which warned pregnant women to refrain from travelling to Zika virus infected countries. Recently, the US Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic were also added to this list. Though extensive research has been carried out on developing a vaccine for the Zika virus but as yet, there has been no approved treatment for it.

On Tuesday President Obama held meetings with his national security and health teams in order to discuss the imminent spread of the Zika and its impact on the country.

The president acknowledged the need to carry on out extensive research in order to discover and develop vaccines for the infection. He also emphasized the need for informing Americans how they can protect themselves from the Zika virus in a better way.

The first case of the Zika virus in Brazil was reported in May 2015, however, it is believed that it came to the country during the football world cup in 2014. At that time people from all over the world came to Brazil in order to watch the soccer matches.

Most of the people who are infected with Zika virus do not show any symptoms which make it almost unnoticeable before it is spread on a wide scale.

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Joey Rogers

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