An update on the Zika virus - where has the danger spread to?


According to World Health Organization (WHO), Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that was first discovered in Uganda, 1947 in monkeys. It comes from the Zika forest of Uganda Later in 1952; it was discovered in humans in now both Uganda and Tanzania.

Zika virus can be transmitted through a mosquito, Aedes aegypti which bites in the evenings, sexual transmission in partners, and mother to child during pregnancy and blood transfusions.

Brief History

1947- It was first discovered in Uganda, where monkeys tested positive for the Zika virus.

1952- It was discovered in human beings where at first the symptoms resembled those of yellow fever.

1954-1983- The virus spread across African and Asian countries during this period

2007- The first outbreak of Zika virus beyond Africa and Asia was discovered on the Island of Yap in the Federal States of Micronesia. 

2013-2014- Zika virus spread to French Polynesia, Easter Island, Cook Islands and New Caledonia.

2015- Zika virus crossed borders from Brazil to countries in South America, North America, Central America and the Caribbean. It is estimated that 1.5 million people have been infected by Zika virus in Brazil.

2016- World Health Organization declared Zika virus as a long term disaster rather than an emergency.

2017- Angola reported two cases of the Zika virus.

Zika virus at the moment

According to newsroom reports, below is the statistics as per today.

Caribbean

There are 598 confirmed cases of Zika virus.

South America 

There are 5439 confirmed cases of Zika virus.

Mexico, Florida and Texas 

There is evidence of Zika virus in the US & Mexico. Expectant mothers and those intending to conceive together with their partners have been warned not to travel to Zika transmission areas.

Zika forecast

With a view of the Aedes aegypti map, Africa, South America and Asian countries will have highest infections of Zika virus infection in the next five years. The infections will primarily be transmitted through mosquito bite.

What can we do?

It is said prevention is better than cure and as we can see in the current situation cure is becoming hard to find and if it is there, not everyone can afford the cost that comes with it. Health providers have therefore come up with preventive measures for people to follow.

• Sleep under treated mosquito net. It is recommended everyone should try and sleep under a net more especially those in affected regions.

• Shut windows and doors to avoid entry of the mosquitoes. Apply insect repellent. This can apply to people who do not want to use a net. The repellent has an annoying scent to keep off these tiny monsters.

• Wear clothes that cover 99% of your skin to minimize mosquito biting.

• Abstaining from sexual acts with infected people.

• Using protection when engaging in sexual act with an infected person.

For Expectant mothers

Avoid unnecessary travel to regions that are prone to the Zika virus until after delivery.

Zika Vaccine

Scientists are working round the clock to come up with the vaccine. It is expected that by 2018, health facilities across the Globe will be fully equipped with the vaccine.

And remember, Mayfair Cares and will keep you informed.

References

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/05/yes-zika-will-soon-spread-united-states-it-won-t-be-disaster

https://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/health/what-is-zika-virus.html?_r=0