Zika virus declared a global health emergency

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It is evident that mosquitoes are far more dangerous than we think. A virus that has been spreading fast is said to come from a mosquito bite. The first most recent zika outbreak started in Brazil where children were reported to have defects. Zika was first identified in Uganda in 1947 from rhesus monkeys. Outbreaks of the virus have so far been reported in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the pacific. The Washington Post says that the mysterious and fast-moving, Zika virus has world’s health leaders scrambling.

Transmission:

1. These mosquitoes bite people during the day and lay eggs in buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots and vases. They live indoors and outdoors near people.

2. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. The infected mosquitoes spread the infection through bites.

Unlike normal mosquitoes, these ones are more active during the day, so nets may not help.

Signs and symptoms include the following:

1. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache.

2. The time it takes for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week

3. The symptoms are usually mild for a few days.

4. Deaths are rare

5. The symptoms can be confused for dengue and diseases that are spread from the same mosquito

As for the treatment there is no vaccine or treatment that can prevent this disease. But certain things can aid in getting better.

1. Get plenty of rest
2. Prevent dehydration by drinking a lot of fluids.
3. Get a doctor to prescribe medicine for you that can speed up the healing.

The unfortunate effect is on pregnant women. The disease can cause microcephaly, where the baby may have abnormally small head. The brain may be affected to the point that the child has intellectual problems. Pregnant women should avoid going to affected countries as that is a very high risk for the unborn baby.

So far WHO has declared this as a global health threat. As a matter of fact the disease has been categorized as important as Ebola. The WHO is trying to coordinate country health agencies that will study the disease and try understanding the relation between the disease and microcephaly. This pandemic disease has spread so fast that the fear is how to contain it.

Kenyan athletes may not go for the Rio Olympics fearing that the athletes may be affected. Although Brazilian authorities say the only people who can be seriously affected are pregnant women, the minister of sports says it’s a huge risk. Keeping in mind Kenyan’s have topped the medal table, this will not only be a loss for them but for Kenya as well.

Some people may be scared of travelling to South America right now where the outbreak is concentrated. Though so far there is no threat in Kenya and hopefully we are safe from the disease.

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