The virus known as Zika was first isolated shortly after World War II, in 1947 Uganda. The first human case was reported in Nigeria in 1954.
Since, the virus spread across Africa and into the Pacific. It was detected in Malaysia in 1966. In 2007 the virus spread to the Island of Yap in Micronesia, with the first reported outbreak: 73% of the population aged 3 and above being infected.
In 2009, after a field trip to Senegal in Africa, American scientist Brian Foy may have transmitted the infection to his wife (the first known suspected case of sexually transmitted Zika).
In 2013 French Polynesia there were 28,000 infections in one outbreak. In 2015 the first reported local transmissions of the virus were seen in South America, Central America and the Caribbean. Presently, there are reports of 3 cases involving New Yorkers.
Since 2015 there has been a Zika outbreak in Brazil. It is believed the virus was spread during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Now there is serious concern with the pending Rio 2016 Olympic Games! The American CDC authority estimates there were 1.3 million suspected cases in Brazil in 2015.
The primary mode of transmission is from mosquitoes, the Aedes aegypti, to humans. These are the same insects known to transmit other viral infections such as Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever and West Nile Virus. With many infected, concerns of humans transmitting the Zika virus to local mosquitoes is mounting.
Several reports of secondary transmission, from human males, via sexually transmitted infections opens the possibility of Zika becoming a sexually transmitted virus. In affected areas in Brazil, a 20-30 fold surge in babies born with microcephaly is linked to Zika virus. The virus isolated in amniotic fluid, breast milk and semen, raised concerns that it could be transmitted by blood transfusions, laboratory exposure, sex and intrauterine (uterus), prompting more investigation into its mode of transmission.
Zeka has an incubation period of about 10 days. Travelers returning from infected areas may develop the infection after an incubation period of about 10 days.
Symptoms are usually none at all in 80% of those infected or at most a very mild headache, fever, maculopapular rash, conjunctivitis and joint pains. Symptoms are self-limited and there are presently no antibiotic or antiviral treatments available.
Infection in the first trimester of pregnancy is linked to microcephaly (tiny heads) and other brain damage in newborns.
In 2013 there were 167 cases of microcephaly; in 2014 there were 147 cases; and in 2015 there were at least 2,782 cases.
RNA (an acid) from the Zika virus was isolated in mothers and babies with microcephaly. In addition, some patients have developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome (muscle weakness), which caused transient paralysis following infection.
Protection from mosquitoes is the best prevention. Use mosquito repellent and cover up exposed skin. These mosquitoes bite during the daytime. There are no vaccines available.
Currently the CDC-issued travel guidance advises pregnant women not to travel to affected countries. Some South American and Caribbean countries advised women to postpone pregnancy until 2018.
Healthcare providers should report Zeka cases to their state or local health departments.
There are reports of genetically-modified mosquitoes being used in Brazil to reduce the mosquito population. Such produces deformed mosquitoes. These may be eaten by birds, other insects and humans. The long-term effect unknown.
Imagine the weaponry of GMO mosquitos. Zika??? It targets our future generation and may reduce birth rates in affected countries.
Links to referenced material below…
Zika Virus Spreads to New Areas — Region of the Americas, May 2015–January 2016 | MMWR
Zika virus: Outbreak ‘likely to spread across Americas’ says WHO – BBC News
Brazilian City Tries Fighting Viruses With GMO Mosquitoes