The Outbreak of Zika Virus – Causes, Cure & Precautions
Category : World News
The headlines all over the world have been dominated by the spread of Zika virus. The latest health news have shown lots of stats of people affected by this virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that there is a susceptible link between this virus and microcephaly.
The major trouble related to the outbreak of Zika is that there is no vaccine available at the moment. Researchers are working throughout the world for coming up with a vaccine but it demands a lot of time and investment. The director of WHO in an Emergency Committee Meeting conducted for this cause said that for now, the immediate protective measures are to control the population of mosquitos and the prevention of mosquito bites.
The mosquitoes which transmit Zika Virus are the ones that belong to Aedes species. The virus is spread by feeding on people who are already infected. It is then passed on by feeding another human and so on.
Causes of the Increasing Spread of Zika Virus
A research assistant in Modular Virology, studying at Purdue University, West Lafayette said there are lots of explanations behind the prevalence and spread of Zika Virus and similar other mosquito-borne diseases. Some of them are discussed as follows:
- Change in Climate: Mosquitoes like warm climate. As the weather starts warming up, the presence of mosquitoes increases and so is the spread of viruses.
- Increased Traveling: The Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes spend their lifetime at the place where they become adults. They barely fly 400 meters on average in their lifetime. As humans travel, these mosquitoes travel with them. When they return, the mosquitoes pick up the virus and start transmitting it.
- Rising Urbanization: The cities that are densely populated have been affected by Zika Virus more. Such places have ideal conditions for the transmission of the virus. An example of such country is Brazil where people are close in the metropolitan areas and they have a higher likelihood of being infected by the mosquito that carries the virus.
What’s the Cure?
Recently, DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) is being used for the fighting this virus. It is a pesticide that was introduced in the 1940s for protecting populations from malaria and other insect-borne diseases. Due to its toxin properties and effects on the environment, the use was banned.
The gravity of Zika is causing experts to rethink about the option of using DDT. It was found that the concerns with the use of DDT rose when it was widely used in the agricultural fields. If it is used in the home environment moderately, it won’t be as problematic as it was in the past.
Self- Precautionary Measures for Protection
WHO has recommended people throughout the world to take precautionary measures. Some simple measures that can be practiced on daily basis are:
- Removing standing water from home
- Keeping the contains clean and dry
- Avoid going outdoors during dawn and dusk
- Avoid wearing clothes that expose skin
- Using insect repellents
There is so much that still remains unknown about the Zika crisis. Keep in touch with the latest health news for more updates.
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