Zika virus is something new to many and that is why this article enlightens some of the important points associated with this disease that has caused panic in Brazil recently. The virus is a tropical disease that is troubling the masses in the country and has breached Puerto Rico. According to the medical experts United States could be next in line to hit by this disease which may cause abnormality in the babies. This article also looks at some of the reasons why this virus is linked with the congenital condition of microcephaly in which babies are born with abnormally small heads.
The disease is said to be caused by the mosquito bite and until last year was majorly confined to the continents of Asia and Africa. Nevertheless, the virus has found its way to the Western Hemisphere originating from Brazil where it has influenced the lives of over a hundred million people. After hitting Brazil it has been on the spread in Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia and other connected areas. In the end of last year a case of Zika virus was confirmed in the United States in Puerto Rico and it was explained a local transmission, meaning being a mosquito carrying this bizarre virus was found in the region as the patient hadn’t have been traveling to any area in the recent past. Though many travelers that have returned to the United States have been diagnosed with this virus as well however, there is no other case that has been confirmed due to local transmission of the virus in the mainland region. The illness caused by a mosquito is also said to be part of the other unexplained diseases that are spreading in different areas that have never seen any of such before. These other diseases include chikungunya, dengue and West Nile and the spread is very puzzling.
In accordance with the director of the Institute of Human Infections & Immunity in the Medical Branch of the University of Texas located in Galveston, the disease is spreading quite fast and probably going to enter the areas of Texas and Florida in the coming seasons of spring or summer. The main issue is the virus carries no major symptoms, there might be some flu-like sickness that might be experienced by the person affected but nothing else and according to the medical experts as casual as it seems, there is a particular reason that this issue demands our attention. Studies have shown that Zika virus may be the reason behind microcephaly which is an innate condition linked with incomplete development of brain in the newborn babies, thus results in smaller heads.
Recently, if a question about Zika virus is put forward to a health expert there might be one answer from the two. Either it will be that they have never heard of this virus or the answer would be, its not that dangerous. On the contrary Zika virus was discovered back in 1947 in Uganda and is named after the forest where it was discovered and has not caused any harm to the mankind since then. But in the year 2007 there were 20 recorded cases and then local outbreaks in French Polynesia and South Pacific. In most patients the virus only causes a general rash just like in normal mosquito-bite case, headaches, fever, and a bit pain in the bones that last for 3 days to week’s time. One in four people might not develop any symptoms at all from the disease.
The spreading cases of Zika virus in Brazil has surprised the health officials and has got them wondering whether its more harmful than they thought it is. In last year alone over 1.5 million people have been affected by the virus and its a speculation that it might have come with the World Cup travelers in the year 2014. The prime concern is though Brazil does sees hundreds of cases of microcephaly annually, the number has gotten 20 times bigger in 2015 year alone. Even more alarming point is the researchers have found Zika virus in the brains of 2 babies suffering from the condition of microcephaly which died within 24 hours of the their birth which is a potential link between the virus and the inborn medical condition. According to some studies the virus also causes Guillain-Barre syndrome, a very rare syndrome that causes paralysis. The virus has also been linked with 40 cases of deaths recently. With such a large outbreak and a big number of cases to study the medical officials are of the view that they might have underestimated the disease.