According to recent reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Zika virus is “Scarier than [they]initially thought.” Currently, the Obama administration has lobbied for over $1.9 billion dollars to prevent an outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus. The CDC has recently recognized that all of the reports and data about this virus is a lot worse than they initially thought.
What is the Zika Virus?
The Zika Virus, named after the Zika Forest, located in Uganda, was first discovered in 1947. Since then, we have seen outbreaks in areas across the world to include Africa, Asia, and around the Pacific Islands. Later, in 2015, there were reports that the virus had been confirmed in Brazil. Then, in early 2016, Zika was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, as it has been reported in all different countries and territories, including the United States of America.
The Zika virus is known to spread to people through infected mosquitos that bite you. Also, the virus can be spread through sexual contact if the male has the virus. Then, it will be transferred to a woman, and a woman’s child, if she is pregnant.
What are the Symptoms of the Zika Virus?
Many people believe that they need to have the most common symptoms to have the virus, being a fever, rash, fatigue, joint pain, and red eyes or conjunctivitis. However, symptoms are usually very mild and therefore most people are infected with the virus and do not even realize it. So, they don’t go to the hospital. While it is rare that people will die of the virus, birth defects are common.
Zika in The United States of America
To date there are 346 confirmed cases of the Zika virus in the continental United States of America. And, all of these cases where people traveled to areas that had prevalent Zika virus reports. Recently, the CDC reported that of these outbreaks 32 were pregnant and 7 were transmitted through sexual contact.
Now, recent reports are telling us that the virus is being transmitted locally. There have now been 354 cases of the Zika virus and 37 were confirmed in pregnant women.
There is no current vaccine to prevent the Zika virus disease. The only way to prevent getting the disease is to stay away from mosquitos and to not have sex with any male that has the virus.
What Does Zika Mean for the Future?
Of these women that are pregnant with the virus, this could mean birth defects. The virus itself has been liked to birth defects, to include, but not limited to, the following: blindness, premature birth, smaller brain size, and more.