The outbreak of zikafeber
Zika virus can lie behind brain damage in thousands of babies
Zika virus, which is spread by mosquitoes in tropical and subtropical areas, is suspected of being behind a sharp increase in the number of newborns with severe brain damage in Brazil. Now fear Latin American authorities an epidemic and pregnant women are encouraged to be extra careful so they do not become mosquito-bitten
Ongoing outbreak of zikafeber
Chile (Easter Island), Brazil, Colombia, Suriname, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Paraguay, Honduras, Venezuela, Panama, French Guiana, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Barbados, Ecuador, Guyana, Haiti, Saint Martin, Bolivia, Guadeloupe, the Dominican Republic and the US Virgin Islands.
When Brazil last year was hit by an outbreak of zikafeber there were no eyebrows raised. The symptoms are described as rather mild, flu, with fever and muscle and joint pain. The disease is best treated by having the patient is resting up and goes over within a week.
But during the last quarter of 2015 reported a proliferation in the number of Brazilian children born with microcephaly, a fetus where the child’s brain does not develop properly. In several cases the deformity was so severe that the child died, in most other cases it leads instead to a lifelong developmental disability.
Zika virus linked to microcephaly
Brazilian health authorities suspect a connection between the outbreak of zikafeber and the sharp increase in mikrocefalifall. Of 4180 suspected cases, 270 confirmed microcephaly, while 462 written off. Still, the 3448 suspected affected infants under investigation, cases reported from 22 October last year until 23 January of this year.
Because of suspicions about the link between zikafeber and microcephaly implements Brazil right now extensive efforts to stop the spread of the disease. Among other things, makes it difficult for mosquitoes to disseminated by verify or clean up places where it can accumulate stagnant water.
Zikaviruset spread by mosquitoes Aedes aegypti, an art of mosquitoes originally from Africa but which is now available in all American countries except Chile (mainland) and Canada as well as in tropical and subtropical areas of Pakistan and India to Indonesia and Melanesia. Even in the Southeast the United States and the northeastern part of Australia are the dreaded mosquito besides zikafeber also spreads including yellow fever and deguefeber.
WHO: More research needed
The World Health Organization writes on its website that more research is needed before it is safely possible to determine that there is a link between zikafeber and microcephaly. WHO also urges pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant to take extra caution and to seek medical attention if they suspect they are suffering from zikafeber.
Zikaviruset do not transmitted through normal contact with infected people, but there are suspicions that it may be transmitted sexually. US authorities advise pregnant women not to travel to Brazil or any other country with ongoing outbreaks of zikafeber. Government officials in El Salvador, Colombia and Brazil have even gone so far as to encourage women planning a baby to wait until the worst crisis is over.
Yesterday morning reported the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark that a Danish tourist infected by zikaviruset during a trip to South and Central America. The patient treated in the hospital for the disease and the condition was reported yesterday to be good. The hospital stresses that there is no risk to the patient spread the infection because the disease-carrying mosquito is not available in Denmark.
Travelers are advised to take precautions to avoid becoming mosquito-bitten.