A dangerous virus has sparked worldwide concern because it is spread by mosquitoes. The virus is considered dangerous because it can cause neurological birth disorder. World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan declared that this virus is a great danger for humanity.
The virus is named Virus Zika, spread by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, and has attacked no less than 29 countries. WHO predicted that no fewer than 4 million people in the American continent will be infected with this virus next year. The spread of this virus has triggered what called a ban for pregnant women to visit the Zika virus spreading areas. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has declared war against Zika.
Five Things Related to Zika Virus You Need To Know
1. Why Zika is so dangerous
This virus is a flavivirus, a member of family of yellow fever, Chikungunya, West Nile, and dengue fever. So far scientists are still working to find a vaccine to prevent Zika. What makes Zika so dangerous is its ability to cause neurological disorders in infants, characterized by an abnormally small head. Sometimes this can lead to death.
2. How Zika spreads
Zika spreads through the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Not only through mosquito bites, Zika spreads also through sexual contact. A health official in Texas stated that a patient was infected by Zika after having sex with someone who had come from Venezuela. In addition to mosquito bites and sex, Zika can be spread through blood transfusions.
3. Areas where Zika is being spread
So far Zika being spread in almost all countries of Central America and South America. Zika spread to the United States from the tourists who had just returned from Central America and South America.
4. What can be done?
To protect yourself from Zika, you need to avoid traveling to areas with active lice. Also use some preventive measures such as sunscreen, long pants and shirts, screened rooms, sleeping in places where the air conditioning works, and so forth. Basically, prevention measures of Zika are almost similar to prevention measures of dengue fever.
5. What has been done to fight Zika
Researchers are working hard to create Zika vaccine, several clinical trials will be conducted. Officials have been working to apply traditional techniques such as spraying pesticides and educating the public about the importance of getting rid of stagnant water around the house.
Prevention in the field of genetics is OX513A, mutant male mosquitoes that are designed to create weak mosquitoes, thereby creating a gradual extinction. These mutant male mosquitoes are developed by Oxitec, a British company.