Mosquito-Borne “Zika” Virus Spreading Explosively Across World

The Zika Virus, a virus spread by the bite of a mosquito has spread from person to person, and nation to nation almost unstoppably. The Zika Virus causes fever, rash, joint point, and reddened eyes lasting two to seven days; Zika has been linked to birth defects when pregnant women are infected. The disease has been found in 24 countries/territories at this point, and is still spreading. To make things worse, there is no cure or vaccine for the Zika Virus.

The Zika Virus is spread when an Aedes mosquito bites an infected person, and then bites a different, uninfected person. Four out of five people experience no symptoms during their time with the virus, and simply serve as carriers to continue on the infection process. It can also be spread from an expecting mother, to her unborn child. When the child is born, they are often afflicted with the birth defect Microcephaly, which causes newborns to have shrunken heads and incomplete brain development.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the Zika Virus is “spreading explosively” and could infect four million people in the Americas by the end of this year alone. The only way to prevent infection is to prevent infected mosquitos from spreading the disease. This is being done with mosquito extermination, and mosquito repellant.

The Zika Virus is especially dangerous as it is new and unknown. Very few people have immunities to the disease, and the medical community does not know enough about it yet to effectively combat it. Work on a vaccine and cure has begun, and although much effort is going to this end estimates say a vaccine will not be ready until the end of this year at the earliest, and could take as long as ten years.

The Center for Disease Control has said that it is possible for limited outbreaks of Zika in the United States. Although, very few cases of Zika, fewer than fifty, have been reported in the United States, and there have been no recorded transmissions of Zika inside the United States.

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