Brazilian doctor Sergio Cortes has described the zika virus in his personal blog after the outbreak in Brazil. Dr. Cortes hopes that by clarifying the facts and debunking the myths about the Zika virus, citizens will be less fearful, and better able to handle the virus should it reach their locale. Sergio Cortes believes that empowering people with knowledge about the prevention and treatment of Zika can help save lives and avoid unnecessary panic. Dr. Cortes discussed some key issues regarding Zika, which are included below.
Is the Zika Virus Contagious?
Zika is not contagious in the sense that it cannot be spread from an infected individual to another human being. In other words, you cannot contract Zika from someone who has the virus.
A major concern that Dr. Sergio Cortes has highlighted along with other notable professionals, is that mosquitoes, who are the main transmitters of the virus can become infected if they bite individuals infected with the Zika virus. What this means is that a mosquito who does not have Zika can contract it from someone who has the virus by biting them. Later the newly infected mosquito with Zika can infect new people. This is of great concern to health officials around the world.
What are the Symptoms of Zika Virus?
Symptoms of the Zika virus are typically mild says Dr. Sergio Cortes. They often include rashes, fever and muscle aches. Most of the time, the symptoms of Zika subside with a time period of 3 days to a week. The virus is very rarely fatal.
Due to the very general symptoms of Zika such as fever and muscle aches, it is very hard to diagnose someone who has the Zika virus. Currently, only a few facilities in the country have the resources and expertise needed to properly diagnose Zika.
Zika cannot be treated, but as stated previously the disease often subsides on its own and is rarely life threatening. Medications to alleviate pain and symptoms such as fever are given to those infected.
What is the Correlation Between Zika and Microcephaly?
Locations that have had recent outbreaks of the Zika virus in Brazil have had a high incidence of microcephaly, which is a disease that affects the development of the brain in babies. Microcephaly can be fatal and can severely stunt the mental development of babies. Research is currently ongoing about the connection between Zika and diseases such as microcephaly.