Everyone is panicking. A ‘new’ virus has arisen that threatens all of us. What is the treatment? What will our government do to help us? WON’T ANYONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!?
Before you all begin prepping for doomsday, please take a moment to read this article. We have collated the facts to make it easy for even the most pessimistic of hypochondriacs to feel at ease.
PATHOGEN: Zika Virus
DISCOVERED: Isolated in 1947, first discovered in humans 1952
Vector– Aedes species of mosquito (A. aegypti and A. albopictus), the same that carries dengue and chikungunya.
Sexual contact and blood– Rare but has been reported
Vertical transmission (Mother-to-child)– Very rare, but being looked into by the CDC
SYMPTOMS: Usually quite mild and not requiring hospitalisation, they include rash, fever, arthralgia (joint pain), myalgia (muscle pain), conjunctivitis, and headache. Incubation is unknown, but is can be between a few days to a week. Death from this virus is incredibly rare.
COMPLICATIONS: The one that everyone is talking about. Microcephaly. In one study, conducted by the CDC (2), 74% of babies born with microcephaly had mothers who lived in a
reas of infection. But, at the writing of this article, THERE HAS BEEN NO TRACE FOUND OF THE ZIKA VIRUS IN THESE BABIES. The reports are coming in within the next few weeks, but until then PLEASE DO NOT SHARE THE STORIES. THERE IS NO PROOF YET.
Read the paper for more detail, and if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact Dan or Chris.
TREATMENT: Fluids, bed rest, panadol. Monitor symptoms and wait it out basically.
DIAGNOSIS: Mostly from history (travel etc…), but a blood test can be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.
AREAS AFFECTED: A very narrow band along the equator, but reports have shown pandemic areas in South America.
SHOULD I BE WORRIED? You should only be worried if:
a) You have travelled to South America, Africa, or the US and been in contact with mosquitoes at dawn/dusk.
b) You have been anywhere overseas in the last 28 days and are going to the doctor complaining of fever, rash, headaches, or generalised pains.
c) You have engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse with anyone who would answer ‘YES’ to the above questions.
Guys, be smart about this. The virus is spreading, but the hysteria surrounding it does not have to. If you are concerned go to your doctor, but please think about the likelihood of a diagnosis BEFOREHAND, so as to not waste your’s or the doctor’s time.
(1)- By James Gathany (PHIL, CDC) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
(2): Schuler-Faccini L, Ribeiro EM, Feitosa IM, et al. Possible Association Between Zika Virus Infection and Microcephaly — Brazil, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:59–62. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6503e2.