Zika Virus-How Big It Is?
After Dengue and Chikungunya, the same Aedes mosquitoes are bringing another scare: Zika virus. This
virus is making a lot of buzz today because aside from the unbearable fatigue, joint pains, rashes, and
conjunctivitis that people infected with the virus can suffer from, pregnant women can also give birth to babies with microcephaly or serious brain injury. And it gets worst as it is already an outbreak, which means no one is safe where mosquitos are known to live. It was first identified in Uganda, coining its name from the Zika Forest where it originated way back in 1947.
The Zika virus is transmitted through mosquito bites of the same genus Aedes, an active mosquito
during day time. At least two branches are carrying such virus, the A. aegypti, and A. arboreal – which in turn is categorized in six (6) more species including A. africanus, A. vitattus A. apicoargenteus, A. hensilli, A. furcifer, and A. luteocephalus. In the past, it has been contained to tropical countries where these mosquitoes are mostly found. A. aegypti has adapted to the northern climate though, according to genetic evidences found in Washington DC’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. So far, the evidences suggests that the virus carriers have lasted four of the region’s winters, which means they are thriving.
The virus infection is now further being studied and proofs have shown that it can be migrated by sexual
contact, as well as through the placenta to infect unborn baby or fetus if the infected is pregnant.
Among the firsts who have contracted the virus was a 21-year old Brazil local, Jade Miranda, who
recounted her turmoil to be frightening and disorienting. She had the virus in October and was not able
to immediately distinguish that it is the virus because her parents are out and that the disease is at the heart of its outbreak in Rio. The rashes covered her body, followed by irritation of her eyes and the joint pains kicked in while throughout the ordeal, she had fever. Fatigue swept all over her that all she wanted to do was lay down.
Texan Lizzie Morales was another early Zika virus survivor, who contracted the disease during her
holiday visit with family and friends in El Salvador. What first hit her is the fatigue that made moving so difficult for her and then the rashes covered her body in the next days to come, prompting her to go to the beach in the hope that the salt water will help alleviate the itchiness she was going through. And before the illness come to a halt, she was vomiting and there was nausea to suffer from. Throughout the ordeal, Morales admitted that she had no idea that it was Zika virus until she was back in Texas. Seeing the news, she was overwhelmed of how big the virus has covered.
While the USCDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control) confirmed that Zika virus is rarely to last a week or
become so serious or even fatal, USCDC principal Dr. Anne Schuchat alarmed pregnant women to be
extremely careful for infection with Zika virus can cost them the brain health of their babies. But in most cases, 20 percent of infected people can have symptoms that includes fever, joint pains, rashes, and red eyes.