Society

Looking back at the Zika virus

The Zika virus is a virus has been around since the 1940s and have outbreaks happen occasionally; usually in the areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, and Pacific Islands. Zika is transmitted through mosquito bites, pregnant women to her fetus, sex, and through blood confusion. The Zika virus was seen as the biggest threat for pregnant women because, if contracted, this virus could lead to a birth defects in the embryos. So the main focus for healthcare workers when coming to the Zika virus is to protect pregnant women, as there is still no vaccine available for the virus.

The recent outbreak of Zika was in the years 2014-2015, where the virus was brought over to America. This was probably due to the increase of travel from and to America during these years. Most people who contracted the virus in America did not experience any symptoms, which are uses muscle aches and rashes. Again, this is because the main problem that arises with the Zika is the danger it puts pregnant women in. During this outbreak, a total of nine pregnant women were identified with the Zika virus. The U.S effectively shut down travel to Zika affected areas and the CDC released guidelines for pregnant women to get tested for the virus. The lives of the U.S people were affected to a small extent, as they were not being able to travel to certain areas.

Compared to the Coronavirus, the Zika Virus was not as extreme due to smaller demographic affected and the range that it reached over. There were only 5000 reported cases in the U.S, on the other hand the Corona virus has over 28 million cases in the U.S alone. There are almost zero similarities between the Zika virus and the Coronavirus, in terms of severity, symptoms, and how they are contracted. The Corona virus prioritizes on weaker people, as does the Zika virus: it attacks pregnant women.

The world right now is struggling to battle the recent pandemic that has affected the lives of people all around the globe. Looking back at a couple years ago, the Zika virus outbreak was handled pretty well by governments, but the same cannot be said about the Coronavirus outbreak. Of course one can argue that the Zika virus was not close to severe as the Corona virus, but could the world learn and improve from what suppressed the Zika virus?

Sources:

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/zika-virus

https://www.cdc.gov/zika/about/index.html

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/zika-virus#:~:text=The%20majority%20of%20people%20infected,last%20for%202%E2%80%937%20days.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6508e1.htm

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