NEW THREAT TO THE WORLD: THE ZIKA VIRUS


27/11/2016





According to the most recent report of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the spreading Zika virus has been observed in 33 countries. While Latin America has the greatest concentration of cases, Brazil and Colombia top the list of most patients with infections.
The virus, which has spread out rapidly from Brazil and Colombia to Venezuela, Surinam, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and El Salvador, is linked with microcephaly and paralysis in newborns upon infecting pregnant women.
ZIKA IN THE USA
Having caused widespread concern around the world for the speed with which it is transmitted, experts say that the Zika virus is carried by mosquitoes of the Aedes variety. The WHO has declared an emergency regarding the virus, for which no vaccine exists.
The mosquitoes which transmit the Zika virus are encountered in the USA in Texas, Florida and along the eastern coast to New Jersey.
THE SYMPTOMS
The virus, which is known to be transmitted through mosquito bites and sexually transmitted between humans continues to spread throughout the Americas. Symptoms of infection include vomiting, mild fever, sore eyes, rashes, muscular pains and severe headaches but infected patients usually do not display signs of serious underlying illness. The virus had first been observed in Brazil in May 2015 and in 2014 an increase was reported in the cases of newborns with microcephaly, which is an an abnormally small head. In 2016 alone, more than two thousand cases of microcephaly in newborns have been reported in Brazil and Colombia.
THE SPREAD WILL CONTINUE
Scientists are studying a possible connection between the Zika virus and microcephaly.
According to the predictions of the WHO, the Zika virus, which has been placed in the same threat category as the Ebola virus, which recently claimed 15 thousand lives in Africa, will continue to spread in the Americas.
By Mete ERSÖZ

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