Feb. 11 — The Zika virus is spreading across the Americas. Since it was first detected in Brazil in May 2015, the mosquito-borne virus has alarmed health officials. Before It’s News video in conjunction with Bloomberg QuickTake explains what the Zika virus is, and how officials are trying to stop it.
Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. The outbreak in Brazil led to reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes.
In response, CDC has issued travel notices for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
One of the US’s most senior public health officials has disclosed the “strongest evidence to date” of the consequence on babies of the Zika virus. Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), was testifying before politicians in Washington. He mentioned that data from the cases of 2 infants in Brazil who perished soon after birth pointed out the virus had passed from mother to child.