Zika Virus Forces Organizations To Act With Urgency

Starting in August, the 2016 Olympics will be taking place in Rio, and the world will be watching, but the current reports are nothing to celebrate, as the world is also paying attention to Brazil for having the most reported cases of the Zika virus.

As of this writing, the latest updates on the mosquito transported illnesses are from the 350 cases of birth defects in Brazil which have now spread to Peru, Jamaica, Columbia, and throughout the Americas, with more reports coming in around the clock.

It’s also been reported that 32 Americans and six Canadians have tested positive for the Zika virus, with 12 states reporting incidences of the virus.

Prior to 2014, the Zika virus was known to remain in between Africa and Asia, presumably since the 1950s. Like many diseases from that region, no one considered it a risk to the rest of the world.

It should be noted that the development of microcephaly — which is the reason why the Zika virus is considered an extreme threat, was also reported during the mid-twentieth century and documented on the Hiroshima Peace site as developing in newborns after the United States dropped the atomic bomb on the island in retaliation for Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

But the first alert to the current form of the Zika virus threat can be found in an article by National Geographic, which also refers to the previous remote presence of the Zika virus up to that point.

“Zika virus forces us to confront a potential new disease-emergence phenomenon: pandemic expansion of multiple, heretofore relatively unimportant arboviruses previously restricted to remote ecologic niches,” they write. “To respond, we urgently need research on these viruses and the ecologic, entomologic, and host determinants of viral maintenance and emergence. Also needed are better public health strategies to control arboviral spread.”

The writer of the article is quoting Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, from their study with the New England Journal of Medicine.

Zika virus prevention Brazilian government
Video conference Room at the National Coordination and Control to Combat Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika virus in Brasilia. [image by Ministério da Defesa via Flickr / CC BY 2.0]

Since 2014 the spread of the Zika virus has increased dramatically, which has not only revealed the infrastructural and systemic problems of waste management throughout the Americas, but also its probable connection to newborns developing microcephaly, which is why governments large and small have placed lax to tough restrictions on women who want to have children.

The Wall Street Journal writes about the Brazilian doctors who first began to make the connection between the Zika virus and microcephaly.

The article reports a consensus among major administrators that the deformity is connected with the Zika virus.

Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and at U.S. university medical centers, along with the heads of Brazil’s leading medical research laboratories, now believe that evidence for a connection between Zika and microcephaly is strong. Brazilian Health Minister Marcelo Castro says he has “100% certainty” a link exists.

Thus far, the World Health Organization has stated a current estimation of 4 million people infected with the Zika virus in the Americas, with the United States cases being rather low. However, those cases are rising.

Even so while many people are certainly alarmed by reports of the Zika virus coming into the United States, along with the link to birth defects, the Fresno Bee reports that the state of California isn’t panicking, mostly because they’re confident in their robust pest control program.

The WHO is scheduled to come together for a solution on Monday, especially in how they can spur the development of vaccines to fight the Zika virus, as The Inquisitr reported that stocks for some companies have already started to increase as they have already started working on them.

However, a good indicator of what it takes to make a vaccine is also documented in another story by The Inquisitr, which refers to MERS, which also had its time in the headlines, resulting in some action to stop the illness from the source, domesticated camels.

With the increased activity in pest control and the WHO’s public determination to find a vaccine, it could result in possibly eradicating the Zika virus at the source or a more streamlined process to have a vaccine out sooner.

[Featured imageBy Muhammad Mahdi Karim (www.micro2macro.net) Facebook Youtube – Own work, GFDL 1.2]