Zika virus, originated from monkeys in Uganda’s Zika Forest, now spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, is gradually becoming pandemic on a global level. To date, it has already spread across a number of continents since its discovery, from Africa to Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, France, Brazil, the US, etc.; at least 20 countries are found to have the presence and cases of this catastrophic virus. In Brazil alone, thousands of people have been infected with this deadly disease. A worldwide outbreak of this virus is just a matter of time.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called upon an emergency committee of disease experts to study this virus and come up with a vaccine which is said to be possibly available for testing in two years’ time and which might not be accessible to the public until a decade later. At current stage, there is no cure available for this disease and, the worse thing is that there is no rapid diagnostic test to identify whether a person is infected with this disease until the symptoms show.
The symptoms for this disease include dengue fever, joint pain, rashes, bilateral conjunctivitis, sore throat, flu-like aches, et cetera; however, some people display no symptom at all. The virus can raise a disturbing concern for the pregnant women because, if a pregnant woman is infected with the Zika virus, it can cause microcephaly in the unborn baby and will later affect and impair the brain development of the child when he/she grows up.
Since there is presently no cure for this disease, prevention has become our only defense; and the only way to shun this incurable disease is to have proper mosquito control and treatment. Common mosquito habitats such as stagnant water must be cleared regularly, wetlands and outdoor areas must be fogged, drains must be treated with larvicidal agent, and so forth.
In a nutshell, mosquitoes bring us not only dengue and yellow fever but other surprises such as the Zika virus as well. Such deadly virus should not be taken lightly.
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