In 2016, the WHO declared a global health emergency after the Zika virus sparked an epidemic that affected nearly two million people, following an outbreak in Brazil in 2015. Although the virus is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti), there is also serious concern about sexual transmission. The WHO considers this to be one of the greatest challenges facing the health system in the history of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV / AIDS) epidemics. The long-term effects of Zika on human health and development have yet to be determined.
The Zika virus first emerged in Brazil in 2015 with an outbreak of microcephaly in a pregnant woman. In a fast-evolving trend, more countries in America reported Zika viruses in 2016, with Brazil, one of the worst-affected countries, reporting more microcephaly cases that health officials suspect may be linked to infections in pregnant women. The World Health Organization also said it had notified the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) that it had identified sources of infectious disease to indicate that diseases had been detected in Paraguay and Venezuela.
The Zika virus, which is spread by the Aedes mosquito, has been spreading rapidly in new parts of America since 2014, continuing to sicken people in other parts of the world. Although Zika first emerged in Brazil, it has spread rapidly: 25 countries have actively transmitted the virus, and it is now spreading to South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, though some of these areas are also hotspots for dengue fever. The symptoms are similar to those of malaria, but are usually milder and last between 4 and 7 days. According to the CDC, which tracks global Zika transmission, there is a known ongoing risk of the virus being transmitted in these areas. The World Health Organization expected it to spread to other parts of Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia by the end of 2017.
Zika was first reported in Uganda in 1947, but it wasn’t until 2015 that its outbreak was reported across the Americas. Zika is not considered life-threatening to adults or children, and in 2015, only 20 people died from the virus in America, according to the CDC. In 2016, 437 people from the US were infected with Zika when traveling to areas where the outbreak was active. Symptoms of Zika are mostly mild, with only one in five people infected showing signs of the disease, according to the CDC.
Because mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus are found worldwide, the outbreak is likely to spread to new regions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks Zika outbreaks in the countries where they occur. Travelers returning to the United States from other areas, as well as travelers from Brazil and other countries, have been reported with symptoms such as fever, headache, rash, joint pain and rash.
Mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus can survive in humans for up to three weeks, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Local transmissions have been reported in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, South America and parts of Africa, according to the CDC. In Brazil, a Zika outbreak has been reported in the state of Rio de Janeiro, which is ongoing. To date, there have been more than 1,000 locally acquired Zika infections in Brazil. These cases are the most locally known cases of the Zika virus in a country. In 2015, at least 4,500 cases and 2,200 deaths were reported, but these cases were either locally limited (locally known cases) or acquired (acquired cases).
Zika virus infection during pregnancy has been linked to a range of health problems in babies, including Zika fever, microcephaly and congenital heart disease. However, Zika infection during a mother’s pregnancy is not associated with any health problem for the baby. Zika virus infection has been confirmed in travelers returning from affected regions, and the outbreak has spread to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and other parts of the world. Zika infections were found in both men and women who were infected with Zika while traveling to a Zika-affected region. The first in the Western Hemisphere was Brazil in 2015, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was discovered in Uganda’s Zika forests in 1947, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Zika virus epidemic began in December 2014, when Brazil reported cases of unknown infections. An outbreak was reported in northeastern Brazil in May 2015, and the virus continued to spread throughout the Americas. On 1 June 2015, an outbreak of Zika virus infection was first reported in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. In May 2015, a mysterious disease was identified as Zika virus, and cases were recorded in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul. It is believed the virus reached Brazil during the 2014 sprinting world championships in and around Rio de Janeiro.