– Dr. Munish Kumar Raizada
Watch this latest video on Zika virus.
Last year, it was Ebola virus that causes a global alarm and anxiety. Now it is Zika virus.
The World Health Organization is scrambling to address this virus that’s spreading rapidly through Latin America and the Caribbean. The virus has been linked to birth defects and, in adults, to a type of paralysis. Experts have lots of unanswered questions, as do ordinary citizens who spoke to VOA. More from health reporter Carol Pearson…
Thus, it emerges that this is causing alarm in Latin America. Many cases of newborn babies born with micro-cephaly (with the smaller size of the head) have been attributed to this virus.
But wait a minute!
Scientists say, they are not yet sure whether Zika virus is to be directly blamed for causing micro-cephaly (causal relationship) or is it something else (other factors) that are playing a role.
Zika virus is transmitted through mosquitoes. Thus, avoiding mosquito-bite is the way to prevent it. This virus can also be transmitted through sex.
Here is an update from Center for Disease Control (CDC) on the areas/countries affected by Zika Virus (as of February 2016):
- Prior to 2015, such virus outbreaks occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands.
- In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed virus infections in Brazil.
- Currently, outbreaks are occurring in many countries.
- Zika virus will continue to spread and it will be difficult to determine how and where the virus will spread over time.
- India has not seen any case of this virus as yet. In the USA, about 52 cases of travel -associated Zika virus have been reported. No locally acquired case has been reported as yet.
- This video is brought to you by NewsGram in collaboration with Voice of America.
- The author is a Chicago based board certified Neonatologist and editor-in-chief of NewsGram.