ZIKA OUTBURST – IMPORTANT FACTS

Lately, Zika virus has been declared as a global public health emergency by The World Health Organisation (WHO). The illness that follows the onslaught of the virus is usually minor, with symptoms lasting from few days to a week, however the infection is leading to babies being born with underdeveloped brains, and increasing the cases of Microcephaly.

Zika virus, spread by the Aedes species of mosquito, has led to the declaration of a state of emergency, in the US. Doctors have described it as ‘a pandemic in progress’ and some are even advising women in affected countries to delay getting pregnant. [Source: BBC News]

It’s being speculated that Zika virus gets transmitted by sexual intercourse because there have been instances of patients who have not visited the Zika outbreak areas, and at the same time, Zika has been also identified in saliva, urine and semen. Evidences like these are raising the possibility that Zika can spread through sexual intercourse.

There are also indications that Zika infection can pass from a mother to a foetus during pregnancy. There is also a probable threat that the Zika virus could spread through infected blood. As a safety measure, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have instructed individuals who have travelled to a region with active Zika virus transmission, to not donate blood for the time being.

According to a recent news report by NBC, 3 babies have been born with birth defects due to the Zika virus in the US, and 3 others have been lost to miscarriages. All of these women were infected with Zika during travel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Although, there is very little that we know about Zika, experts have come to the conclusion that the virus is linked to a larger set of difficulties in pregnancy, including miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and eye problems.

According to WHO Zika is a serious global threat and stands on the same pedestal as Ebola.

 

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