Research Paper On Zika Virus

Combatting the Zika Virus What may seem like a mild, common, mosquito borne illness can prove to be a tragedy to families. In most adults, the Zika virus simply causes fever, rash, and upsets the digestive tract, like many other illnesses, but when it comes to expectant mothers, it can cause devastating effects. Zika can cause the brain of a fetus to fail to develop, an issue known as microcephaly. This issue makes it impossible for an infant to successfully grow into a fully functioning human, and brings about issues such as learning disabilities and seizures. Zika Virus used to seem like a distant scare, only having been heard of in foreign countries such as Uganda and Brazil— many hadn’t even heard of it. However, it is now hitting much …show more content…
Originally, Zika appeared with a headache followed by a rash that covers a large portion of the body, fever, and back pain. Later on, the virus was sometimes accompanied by joint pain, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness but lacked the symptom of rash. While all of these symptoms are unpleasant, they are somewhat mild and usually go away on their own (provided that there are no complications).(Zika Virus, Microbe Wiki) However, when it comes to expectant mothers: Zika proves to be a much greater danger. There has been a scientific link between Zika and a birth defect known as microcephaly. This defect is when a baby’s head and brain fail to develop and is much smaller than normal. Depending on the severity of the microcephaly, there are many side effects and complications for the baby: seizures, developmental delay, hearing and vision issues to name a few. Previously, microcephaly was not a common occurrence. It used to be found in about “2-12 babies per 10,000 live births”(Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Microcephaly is often caused by poor blood supply, malnutrition or harmful substance exposure of the fetus, but Zika has been linked to the condition as well. If a mother is infected with the Zika Virus while she is pregnant, it can cause the child’s brain to fail to develop. This is a greater risk when the mother is earlier in her pregnancy. Microcephaly is also not the only …show more content…
The way that the Zika Virus is spread is through the ways of the average flavivirus: handling infected animal carcasses, blood transfusion, child birth, or the most common: mosquito bites. (GBIF “Flavivirus”) In order to prevent mosquitoes from spreading this virus, it is suggested to wear insect repellent, long-sleeved clothing, and to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes. (Zika Virus, Microbe Wiki) By eliminating standing water, by buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots and vases (Zika Virus Disease - Current Situation) the breeding ground of mosquitoes is destroyed. However, recent studies have found the the Zika Virus can spread from person to person through sexual contact. The way to prevent this is by practicing the techniques used to prevent other sexually transmitted diseases: safe sex. Taking all of the ways of transmission into account, it is important to combat them to prevent Zika from spreading. Zika has been found in multiple places in Florida and Georgia, and there have been five reported cases in the state of Alabama. Many think of it as a distant threat, but Zika is making its way into your backyard. With the threats it poses to expectant mothers, it must be stopped from spreading any

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