The virus “Zika” causes a milder version of a disease with symptoms that may last from a few days to a week. It is transmitted to people via mosquito bites, and is manifested through conjunctivitis (red eyes), pain in the joints, rash and fever.
Namely, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued a warning in May 2015 regarding the first officially confirmed infection of this virus confirmed in Brazil. This infection In Brazil caused reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome as well as poor pregnancy outcomes and babies born with defects.
Therefore, it is of extreme importance to know the symptoms of this virus, in order to prevent it or reduce the risk:
1. The Zika virus is spread as soon as an Aedes mosquito bites a person with an active infection and transmits the virus to the other people it will bite. As long as these people experience the symptoms of the virus, they are carriers of it.
2. The CDC announced that this virus is now being spread in Mexico, Panama, Barbados, Suriname, Bolivia, Brazil, Haiti, Saint Martin, Honduras, Cape Verde, Colombia, Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Venezuela Guyana, Martinique, Paraguay, Samoa, and El Salvador.
3. There is no vaccine to treat the infection or prevent the Zika virus.
4. As there is no vaccine or effective treatment to prevent it, the only preventive measures you can take is not to travel to areas with an active infestation.
Moreover, according to CDC, if you still go to some of these countries, you need to strictly adhere to these rules: wear long pants and long-sleeved thick shirts to avoid the bite of a mosquito; sleep in a screened room with a good air- conditioning; use an EPA-approved repellent over sunscreen.
5. Currently, numerous experts and researchers are struggling to find a vaccine for this virus.
Yet, until they succeed, health officials recommend the conventional methods for mosquito control, like the use of pesticides and emptying standing water receptacles which is the ideal environment for mosquitoes. CDC also stimulated owners of hotels or homes, as well as tourists in the affected countries to join in and remove any kind of standing water they can find.
However, as it is difficult to get all potential breeding places, studies state that local control cannot provide extremely beneficial results.
Moreover, regarding the fact that Aedes aegypti has developed so far it can live near people and “can replicate in flower vases and other tiny sources of water,” as the microbiologist Brian Foy stated, it is really hard to spot and eliminate them.