The Zika virus outbreak that has occurred this year in Brazil, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands have caused major problems in the health field in general. The virus is transmitted by a mosquito that it native to tropical areas and breeds in the summer. The disease, though recently contained in Africa and Asia for decades, has now reached areas all over the world. In Dr. Sergio Cortes’ newest article in which he details the risks associated with the transmission of the Zika virus, he discusses the treatment of the virus and the protocols taken to stop any further expansion. According to Dr. Cortes, health care officials are in the process of developing and implementing plans to significantly decrease and ultimately stop the spread of the virus to even more areas.
The Zika virus has been a known disease for nearly 70 years. The vital process to begin to regulate the disease only recently happened, however, due to the fact that the virus is now causing severe conditions in the people who are infected with it. The regulations include warnings that have been issued by both the CDC and the World Health Organization to world travelers. The warnings state that travelers should exercise extreme caution when traveling to areas known to be Zika virus outbreak areas. The warnings also state that pregnant women and women who desire to become pregnant at any point in time should avoid these high risk areas altogether since the disease is more dangerous to them than it is to men and children. Amazingly, these official health organization warnings to travelers are one of the best defenses that currently exist in the effort to prevent the spread of the Zika virus.
Since the Zika virus is spread mainly by through contact with a particular infected mosquito, the chance of spreading the virus by any other means is remote (although it has recently been proven that the virus can be spread through sexual contact). It is also highly unlikely that a particular location will develop an outbreak of the Zika virus if it is difficult for the mosquito that carries the disease to breed in that specific environment. Therefore, the main defense in stopping the spread, according to Dr. Sergio Cortes, is to prevent travel, especially from one tropical environment to another. Additionally, methods that have proven successful in preventing the spread of the virus include massive mosquito population control efforts which are still being performed by health officials in Brazil in an effort to prepare the country for the upcoming Olympic games. For more information about preventing the spread of the Zika virus, Dr. Sergio Cortes’ original article can be found here, on his official website.