March 1, 2016 · Sergio Cortes, Zika virus

Dr. Sergio Cortes recently assessed the current outbreak of the Zika virus and African and Asian countries. The Zika virus is rapidly spreading throughout these countries. Initially, it was spread through the bite of certain mosquitos that are native to the African and Asian environments. Now, however, the disease can also be transmitted through sexual contact. Several cases of the disease have been proven to have been transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids during sex. The disease has been proven to cause mild symptoms such as fevers and rashes, but can also cause potentially life-altering conditions such as microcephaly and Guillain Barre syndrome. Microcephaly, a serious condition that causes abnormally small and underdeveloped brains in children, has been linked to pregnant mothers who contract the disease. Guillain Barre disease, Dr. Cortes reports, is an auto-immune disease that can have equally serious repercussions for infected patients.

To better inform readers of the nature and spread of the Zika virus, Dr. Sergio Cortes selected a few key topics that were slightly debatable because of the small amount of research that has been conducted on the subject.
While it was originally thought that the Zika virus was not contagious and could only be transmitted though an insect bite, recent research has proven that the disease can also be transmitted through sexual contact between to people. The disease is not air borne or contracted in any way other than through mosquito bites and sexual transmission. The mosquito that is responsible for transmitting the virus also is responsible for the transmission of chikungunya and dengue fever, diseases which cause fevers and joint pain. The Zika virus is slightly different, however, from dengue fever and chikungunya fever due to the fact that a mosquito who is not infected with the virus can become infected by biting a human hosts who is infected. The mosquito can then transmit the disease to other otherwise healthy humans. This strange capability causes the disease to spread even more rapidly than its counterparts normally would.
Dr. Sergio Cortes described the mosquito that transmits these diseases. The Aedes aegypti (the name of the mosquito) naturally migrates to an adequate water supply for laying eggs. This creates an opportunity for these mosquitos to make a large amount of breeding spaces. These breeding spaces, in turn, create an abundance of these mosquitos which sustains the spread of the disease. For more information about Dr. Sergio Cortes’ discussion of the Zika Virus, visit his personal website here to read the original article.

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