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Spread of the Zika Virus in the US

Spread of the Zika Virus in the US

The Zika virus was first identified in the East African region of Uganda around 1947. However, the virus went dormant not so long after its isolation only to reemerge recently in the southeastern Asia. For the last couple of months, the spread of the Zika virus has gained unprecedented momentum in the US thus drawing the attention of oversight agencies in the healthcare industry such as the CDC and the WHO. As a matter of fact, the virus was a cause of concern for the recently concluded Olympic Games held in Rio, which at that time was considered a hot spot of the virus.

Transmission of the Virus

One gets infected by the Zika virus after sustaining a bite from a specific mosquito from the Aedes genus. Scientific observations have shown that the infectious mosquito is most active during the day and expectant women are the most vulnerable victims. Other than mosquito bites, the Zika virus is also transmitted through the following ways;

  • Sex
  • Blood transfusion
  • Mother to child transfusion during pregnancy

High rates of transmission have also been observed in the densely populated regions of the world, which explains the vast extent of infections in the Southeastern Asia countries.

Zika Comes to the US

The last couple of months has seen a tremendous increase in the rates of transmission and infection of the Zika virus in the US. The growing concerns among the relevant stakeholders in the health department have led to extensive scientific investigations aimed at establishing the reason behind such an observation. First, the US is among the most populous regions in the world with more than 300 million people. The spread of the Zika virus in the US is to some extent attributed to the high population of the country’s citizens who travel across the world for various reasons. It is also, partially attributed to the fact that there was insufficient information available.

Becoming Infected

A person that is infected with the Zika virus may show signs of illness for several days usually less than a week and they are manifested by a number of symptoms, which include but not limited to the following;

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Body Rash
  • Fever
  • Joint pains

Pregnant Women

Women of reproductive age are advised to desist from traveling as they are much more likely to get infected than their male counterparts. They are also discouraged from engaging in activities that require them to interact with people that travel more often.

The spread of the Zika virus in the US is not uniform, which implies that there are those states with more infected persons than others. For example, the state of Florida and its environs are the places with the most transmissions in the US.

It is for this reason that the country has taken upon itself to monitor traveling into and out of these regions. The spread of the Zika virus has resulted in numerous sanctions issued by the CDC to prevent US citizens from traveling freely to and from the regions considered to be endemic with the Zika virus. The already infected persons have been put under strict monitoring with the aim of containing the situation in the US.