The highest risk group of the Zika virus are pregnant women because it can cause birth defects and microcephaly, which is essential to medical management.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports an important warning: Zika virus, transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, already affects 15 American countries as verified data.
Most worrisome is that, today, and not according to state health institutions, specific treatment that allows us to heal their effects. However, through proper and having at our fingertips all the information prevention, we can protect ourselves in a more appropriate manner.
They are told doctors usually Zika virus causes rashes, and fever. Only people with a weakened immune system could be life-threatening.
The current problem is much more worrying aspect: The current virus affects babies not yet born causing serious malformations.
What is Zika Virus?
Zika virus is very similar to dengue or yellow fever. It originated in a region of Uganda called Zika, which gave name when a virus is discovered, previously unknown, which affected the monkeys.
It happened in 1947, but was already in 2007 that “made the leap” to humans and came to affect about 8,000 people on an island in Micronesia, Oceania.
We can say that the most common so far was that the symptoms do not appear very striking simple rashes, joint pain and fatigue.
However, if in 2007 Zika virus went from Africa to Micronesia in 2015 the change has been more worryingly has come to America, where he has begun to cause microcephaly in newborns.
Zika virus at present is different:
Studies Zika virus is being carried out at the Pasteur Institute of Guyana, where the pathogen has spread across much of America is analyzed.
Usually, although affect millions of people each year, this virus only causes death in rare cases: when people have other respiratory diseases, infectious, serious heart or weak states.
What has caused the alarm is frightening fact, as mentioned at the beginning of the current Zika virus it affects the fetus, causing microcephaly.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention, in Brazil there were, in the period 2010-2014, from 150 to 200 cases of microcephaly. The alarming statistic comes in 2015 with 3,893 cases.
The current strain of Zika virus belongs to the Asian genotype and has nothing to do with that first emerge in Zika, Africa.
That is, scientists, today, already have drawn across the phylogenetic tree of the virus affecting the Americas. So, hopefully soon there may be vaccine and treatment.
How the virus is transmitted Zika
Most likely to contract the virus is through the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
However, in this case not just apply ourselves repellents or avoid sources of moisture around the home where mosquitoes suelan go. Keep in mind that the current Zika virus can also be transmitted in the following ways:
- Sexually transmitted (the virus stays in the sperm for a very long time).
- The infection can spread from perinatal form, i.e., from mother to fetus through the blood. Also tell you that the virus is not transmitted through breastfeeding.
Symptoms of Zika virus
After receiving the mosquito bite it took between 2 and 7 days to experience the first symptoms. However, it is important to know that only one in four people will develop the disease.
The symptoms would be:
Itching and rash
One important thing that will help us differentiate itching of possible allergies, is suffering from overnight conjunctivitis, severe muscle pain and a very marked distress.
Neurological or autoimmune complications are rare, but have appeared in recent months in Brazil.
Zika virus and pregnant women
As you can guess, the current alarm Zika virus resides in the worrying number of children born with microcephaly.
Thus, the highest risk is focused on all those women who are living their pregnancy now, or who may become pregnant, and also residing in countries where cases have been reported.
I’m pregnant, what I can do?
Doctors we invite you to take the following precautions:
- Cover your body with proper clothing to avoid mosquito bites.
- Make use of insect repellents.
- Avoids potted house where the water is stagnant, controls all areas where there is moisture and insects can concentrate. Sleeping with a mosquito protector on your bed.
- WHO recommends that all pregnant women get pregnant or you want to go to medical centers to be staffed, informed and controlled at all times.
Causes of Zika virus causes malformations in fetuses
As noted, Brazil is the country that has experienced the impact of this very serious outbreak of microcephaly. It is in this country are also carrying out extensive research to define the causes and possible treatment.
The risk of microcephaly and malformed fetuses is associated with the presence of an infection caused by Zika virus during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Microcephaly is a rare condition that is either genetic or environmental (toxic or infectious agents) causes.
These children have a much smaller than normal head circumference, which hampers their development. They may suffer seizures, difficulty feeding and even risk of being killed within a few days.
Today there is no specific treatment for microcephaly.
I am pregnant, how I can know if my baby has microcephaly?
Microcephaly can be diagnosed before birth by prenatal ultrasound. But for this, we have to wait until the third quarter, and the test is not always reliable.
The diagnosis is made in most cases at birth itself. We can say that microcephaly presents different types of gravity and there are children who, through adequate support, can have a fairly long life.
However, microcephaly is usually associated with mental retardation.
The current alert affects 18 island countries and territories in Latin America and could be extended to 20.
The latest news indicates that Zika virus is getting closer to Jamaica and the Caribbean in general. Medical institutions recommend that women delay pregnancy, as far as possible, and protect themselves from mosquito bites.
It is important to see a doctor if you are in a state and not hesitate to follow all advice and recommendations. Currently, scientists already know what the virus, including its origin and how it works is, so hopefully soon have the vaccine.