The Zika virus has arrived in the United States, with mosquitoes in South Florida spreading the virus. It causes birth defects in babies born to pregnant women, the CDC says.
That agency has issued travel warnings for pregnant women in countries where the disease is spreading. But the CDC says cases in Florida are not expected to be explosive or widespread.
The virus is mainly spread by mosquitoes, although some cases are sexually transmitted.
There are two types of mosquitoes, called Aedes, еspecially AedesAegypti and AedesAlbopictus.
These two types of mosquitoes are also transmiting others infections as Denga and Cikungunija. Their main characteristic is that they are active throughout all the day. The virus was first isolated in 1947 in monkeys, in the tropical forests of Uganda, from where it got the name.
Zika Virus Symptoms
The most common symptoms are:
Rash and conjunctivitis,
– The virus infection is usually diagnosed by the patient’s history and physical exam and by blood testing (testing for the virus genome; usually done in the United States by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]).
– Treatment is related to symptom control, and over-the-counter medication is used in most infected people.
– Rarely, complications such as dehydration or neurologic problems may develop.
– In Brazil, an outbreak of Zika virus infections may be related to the development of congenital microcephaly; evidence comes from epidemiology and from Zika viruses isolated from amniotic fluid and the brain and heart of an infant with microcephaly.
– The prognosis for most Zika virus infections is good; however, complications such as microcephaly, if proven to be related to the infection in pregnancy, would be a poor outcome for the newborn. In addition, eye abnormalities, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) may occur, with fair to poor outcomes.
– Prevention of Zika virus infections is possible if mosquito bites from infected mosquitoes are prevented.
– Currently, there is no vaccine against Zika virus infection; however, the possible link to development of microcephaly in the fetus has prompted physicians to lobby for a fast development of a vaccine.
Where expanded Zika virus so far?
According to the latest data from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Infectious Diseases (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), until now the virus is present in: Brazil, Barbados, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, Suriname, Samoa, Tonga, and Venezuela.
– Avoid and protect yourself from mosquito bites,
– Clothe yourselves shirts and pants with bright colors and long sleeves and trousers,
– Pregnant women or women planning pregnancy before the trip should consult a doctor about the risks of travel to destinations where is present Zika virus or delay the travel,
– People have also been infected via oral and anal sex with men. Men need to practice safe sex for at least six months after a Zika infection to be sure they are not infecting their partners.