Zika virus

Zika virus is the newest infection in town that has been declared as a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). It was first identified in 1947 in Uganda in Africa. The County Public Health Department in California have confirmed the first few cases of Zika virus in the area. According to Public health officials the second case of the zika infection in Los Angeles was confirmed on 27th February 2016. The pregnant woman who was infected had travelled to an area where there is a continuous transmission of the virus. The first case of the infection was a teenage girl who had travelled to El Salvador for a trip and came back affected.  There has been no case of infection in Los Angeles. All those are infected are said to have travelled and came back infected. As of January 29, 2016 there were six confirmed cases of the infection in the whole of California. The first case of transmission of the disease through sex was reported late February 2016.

Zika virus being the newest infection that is transmitted by mosquitos has sent shock waves all around the world. Zika disease is caused by the zika virus and it is spread to people mainly by a bite from an infected Aedes species mosquitos. Outbreaks of this disease have been reported in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Central and Southern America. The most common symptoms of the disease are fever, rashes, joint pain and red eyes. The symptoms are said to quite mild when it comes to adult and it becomes difficult to know if one is infected. Four out of five people who are infected do not realize that they are affected and this might cause transmission of the same without the knowledge of the party.  Once a person has been infected it becomes impossible for them to get infected again.

When the zika virus is spread it can lead to some side effects especially when it comes to pregnant mothers. The zika virus is believed to cause a birth defect in babies where the brain does not fully develop. Although studies have not yet been done, officials say that it will become only official that the virus is the cause of defect births after a period of seven to nine months of research.

Los Angeles County health officials also warned the residents of the area to take precautions against mosquito bites especially if they are travelling to areas that are known for transmission of the virus. Those that return infected with the virus are instructed to stay in the house to avoid bites by the mosquitos. If a mosquito bites someone with the virus then the mosquito becomes a carrier and can spread the virus to other people who are not affected. When an infected person stays in seclusion and ensures no mosquito bites then that will be a guarantee that no other transmission will occur in the area.

The Center for Disease Control have issued warnings about people who travel to areas that are infested with the virus to be careful and take precautions to avoid getting infected by the virus. The CDS have also said that the spread of the virus can be prevented by clearing and eliminating sites around homes where mosquitoes might breed and lay their eggs. The CDS have also issued travel alerts to people travelling to areas that are known to be affected by the virus.

There are some precautions that have been given to people who are travelling to areas with people who are affected by the virus.  They have been advised to use mosquito repellants, wear long sleeved shirts and pants, use air conditioning, use of mosquito nets and reduce the number of mosquitos outside their homes by clearing the bushes and containers containing water. These precautions will help keep the mosquitos at bay and the number of transmissions might be reduced greatly. There have no contraction that have been confirmed in Los Angeles but the residents are being urged to be careful to avoid contracting the virus.

 

References

CDC (2016) About Zika Virus Disease www.cdc.gov/zika/about/index.html

Lloyd J. (2016) LA County Health Officials Deliver Zika Virus Update NBC Southern California retrieved from www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Health-Zika_Virus_LA-County-367535461.html accessed 1 March 2016

Thomas O. (2016) California Department of Public Health Reminds Public to Guard Against Mosquito Bites retrieved from ww.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/NR16-005.aspx California Department of Public Health accessed 1 March 2016

 

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