One of the most pressing issues involving the Zika Virus is the effect that it will have on the 2016 Summer Olympics, which will be taken place in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Approximately 200,000 Americans and millions more around the world will be making the trek to Brazil this summer to attend the Olympics. If anyone contracts the virus, the Zika Virus may be inadvertently brought back to their community; and from there, it will spread throughout the populations. Twenty percent of those who contract Zika do not experience any symptoms; therefore, it is easy to carry the virus home and not know it.
How Zika Virus Is spread
The Zika Virus can be spread a few different ways. The most common is when a mosquito bites a person infected with the Zika Virus, then that same Mosquito bites another individual. This is why the virus tends to spread faster in locations where there is a high population of mosquitos and humans. In The United States, 60% of the human population lives in an area where the Zika Virus can spread during the summer months, and approximately 23 million people live in an area where the Zika Virus can spread year around. Another way the Zika Virus can be transmitted is sexually. There is not a lot known about the sexually transmitted process at this time. However, it is strongly recommended that if you are pregnant that you should avoid participating in sexual activities. Or, the pregnant individual should at least wear a condom during any sexual activities with anyone who has traveled or been to an area infected with the Zika Virus. While it is known that a man can transfer the disease to a sexual partner, it is not known if a woman can do the same.
Symptoms and Treatment of Zika Virus
Most of the time when people experience these symptoms, they are misdiagnosed for another illness because the symptoms (if any are experienced) are common symptoms of other illnesses.
Treatment for the Zika Virus is usually directed at relieving symptoms and keeping the infected individual comfortable. If a pregnant woman contracts Zika, it may likely be very dangerous for the fetus. Zika can be spread from a mother to her child during pregnancy, or the virus can be transmitted to the infant around during birth. There are, however, no reports of Zika getting passed through breast feeding.
The Zika Virus can cause a condition known as Microcephaly, a serious condition in which the head is much smaller than what is expected in a normal infant. The head of an infant grows as the brain grows; when microcephaly occurs it is because the brain did not develop correctly during pregnancy or has stopped growing at birth. If a child has Microcephaly he can experience several severe symptoms including:
– Vision problems
– Hearing loss
– Developmental delay
o Speech, sitting, standing walking issues and more
– Decreased intellectual ability
– Movement problems
– Balance struggles
– Feeding issues, difficulty swallowing