Zika Virus: Rising Epidemic

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Lately in the news we’ve been hearing about how the Zika Virus is on the rise, and that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) is working effortlessly to keep this contained. But, what do we really know about this virus? What are the major effects of this virus? Should we be concerned? Below are a few things to keep in mind when encounter the number one killer in America.

We first know that this virus causes microcephaly in pregnant women, which is the baby being born with an abnormally small head. But is this the only thing this virus causes? Well, for starters, a simple mosquito bite won’t just send you to the hospital. For the most part you swat it away, and then scratch at the site. The reason it is itchy is because the saliva from the mosquito bite causes it to itch. They use an anesthetic to bite you, so you don’t feel it at first. This allows them to feed off you freely. But what other symptoms does this virus have. If you have thoroughly done your research, then you would know that this virus mimicks symptoms of the flu. It causes fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, body aches and so forth. But, one has to ask when getting bit by a mosquito is the Zika Virus the only thing I should be worried about? If we take a look at all the diseases associated with this killing machine, one would ask why does the media focus so much on just this one virus. I’ll tell you why. It’s because as with a lot of viruses, this virus didn’t originate in the U.S., so scientist and doctors knew very little about this virus. Not only that, it was only being transmitted to those traveling outside of the country. So why is there no vaccine for something like this? Simple, enough research and cases of this virus must be spread throughout the United States before measures of this multitude take place. Right now, there are only 43 confirmed cases of the Zika Virus in the United States and they are currently in Florida.

 

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So, now that raises the question of whether or not this virus is on the rise to becoming the next epidemic. If I had to guess, I’d say over the next few months, states in the South will feel this virus hard. Why only in the south you say? Most of the people coming back with this virus have gone to countries like Brazil, and what better state in the U.S., closer to bring the virus back to? That’s right you guessed it, Florida. The good old Sunshine State. Now that’s not to say that the mosquitos won’t travel, but as of now, they are pretty much confined to the Florida.

 

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In order to protect yourself from the threat of mosquitos, remove any and all stagnant water. This is breeding grounds for mosquitos. Mosquitos usually feed around dusk or late in the evening, so if at all possible, try to be in the house or get some bug repellent to keep them at bay. I know in the summer months, the last thing you want to wear are jeans or pants, but this is also another method of preventing bites. If you are spending the day outside, try to steer clear of perfume. This attracts them. I also urge you to read the labels on the back of your lotion bottles. Some lotions contains ingredients in bug repellent and may repel the mosquitos inadvertently. You can also contact your local bug control and see when they come out and spray for mosquitos. Remember, if you start to feel sick or weak after a mosquito bite, please go to your local emergency room and get evaluated immediately. While the Zika Virus is the main concern from mosquitos right now, you should be aware that mosquitos can transmit HIV/AIDs, and Hepatitis C as these a blood born illnesses.

 

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