Zika Virus Soccer

Zika Virus And Soccer: What’s The Link?

Zika Virus may have spread through major sporting events, ABC News has reported. Studies have pointed to the World Cup in 2014. The experts have still not been able to zero in on the person who spread the virus, but a study published in June 2015 suggests that the virus may have come to Brazil when thousands of fans came together.

“One plausible hypothesis is the arrival of the new emergent virus during the soccer World Cup in 2014,” said the authors of the June 2015 study that closely studied the genetic sequence of the Zika virus.

There is another study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal that points the finger at the Va’a World Sprint Championship. The championship is a canoe race, and there are four participating teams from the French Polynesia who could be the possible carriers.

The Zika virus outbreak has caused a global health concern because of the upcoming Olympics in Brazil, where several people from all over the globe are likely to come together. This would facilitate the spreading of the virus. However, NPR has reported that without further adieu, a study for a virus vaccine will begin very soon. But, it has been said that it would be years before a vaccine is found. The experts have also said that it seems unlikely that the United States would be affected much.

The symptoms of the Zika virus resemble that of flu, the CDC said. The carrier can get joint pain, red eyes, fever, and a rash. Pregnant women infected with the virus can experience complications with the unborn baby. The virus has been linked to babies born with small heads because of a condition called microcephaly. The CDC has now made it compulsory for all states in the U.S. to report any travelers who carry the virus into the country, says Dr. Anne Schuchat, the agency’s principal deputy director, reported NPR.

The CDC says that this is not the first time Zika virus outbreaks have happened. Prior to 2015, Zika virus outbreaks have occurred in Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, and Africa. In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization issued an alert about the first Zika virus infections in Brazil. The CDC says it’s still very hard to determine how the virus is going to spread over time.

The good news for U.S. residents is that no local Zika cases have been reported so far, and it seems unlikely that it would spread far and wide. The reason is that in cases of two similar viruses like chikungunya and dengue, the spread of the virus has been very limited. So far, 31 cases virus being brought back to the mainland have been reported. The reports have come from 11 states and the District of Columbia. However, none of the carriers have been known to spread the virus.

There have been cases that are being reported in returning travelers. There have also been cases of Zika virus reported in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The CDC has said that with the Zika outbreaks increasing, the cases of the virus among those returning to the United States will be on the rise.

“There’s still a lot we don’t know, so we have to be very careful about making any absolute predictions,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

In a briefing for reporters, he added that “we still feel it’s unlikely… we’ll see wide-scale outbreaks,” NPR reports.

It has been reported that the NIH and CDC have been working together to develop better tests for the Zika virus. The NIH has also issued a notice calling for researchers who can help understand the virus better.

[Photo By Mario Tama/Getty Images]