Don’t Let the Mosquitoes Bite!

Staff Writer: Santana Lozano

The Zika Virus has been spreading rapidly and within the past couple of years has presented itself in the United States. The virus is spread through infected mosquitos, named Aedes mosquitos. That was thought to be the only source, but it has recently been reported that it has appeared to be sexually transmitted as well.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), has issued an alert for travel to places where Zika is spreading most viciously. These places include: South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Brazil and Columbia are in alert, having received the most cases. Cases of Zika Virus have been recorded in the following states in America: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. These cases were all travel-associated, though there was found to be eight locally acquired cases in U.S territory, Puerto Rico.

The symptoms of this illness include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. It only lasts a week or so. The situation, however, is different for pregnant women. The Zika Virus has recently been connected to causing birth defects to a baby whose mother was infected during pregnancy. There is no vaccine for this virus, nor is there a cure.

This is why the CDC is urging people to take action by avoiding mosquito bites and avoiding sexual activity if you or your partner has been out of the country. The Aedes mosquitos that hold the Zika virus are also holders of the Dengue and Chikungunya Viruses, which can also be spread by being bitten. This is why it is crucially important that people stay cautious and careful, especially pregnant women and their partners.

Quotes

“Currently, I am telling my pregnant patients not to travel to locations where the Zika Virus has been identified.” – Dr. William Schweizer of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center

“This warning has been issued because the Zika infection is currently in an expansion phase.”  – Luis Fernando Correa, head of ministry’s Office of Emergency Management and Disaster in Columbia

mosquito1

Symptoms of Zika Virus

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