It’s all over the news and social media. The Zika virus has impacted too many of our friends around the world. The mosquito blight has many of us on the edge of our seats waiting for the next vaccine or next victim. Check out the most recent updates to Zika below.
Where is Zika now?
On Thursday, July 14, 2016, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a map that highlighted all of the areas on Earth that were currently infected with active Zika virus. As of today every country in South America (excluding Uruguay and Chile) are noted as hosting citizens with the active Zika virus. Several other countries, including all of Mexico and most of the Caribbean islands, have made the Zika map. The CDC recommends refraining from any unnecessary travel, especially in these highlighted countries.
On Friday, July 15, 2016, an infected man in Salt Lake City, Utah passed away from complications caused by the Zika virus. His death, in and of itself, was awful enough, but what really began to raise alarm bells for the medical community at large was the fact that his caregiver became infected as well. This caregiver and patient duo had no sexual contact nor had they exchanged bodily fluids in any other way. Another unsolved piece of this puzzle is the fact that the mosquito known to carry the Zika virus is not found in the high elevations of the Rocky Mountains where Salt Lake City sits.
Up until this event it was popular belief that the only way to transmit the virus was by:
- being bitten by an infected mosquito
- sexual intercourse
- mother to fetus
This occurrence has now thrown many health scientists for a loop when it comes to understanding the transference of the Zika virus.
Are we closer to a cure?
There is currently no known cure for the Zika virus. Clinical health trials are being performed throughout the world with the most advanced health technology and research professionals, however no vaccine has been released to the general public as of yet.
In San Salvador, El Salvador the Escalon Diagnostic Hospital has developed a new test to assist in detecting the Zika virus in it’s earliest stages. The test uses a technique called immunofluorescence, requires a small amount of the victim’s blood, and costs around $125 US Dollars. This test has now been approved by the FDA and has been authorized by the US government for emergency use.
For now health professionals can only recommend treating the symptoms of pain and discomfort that some Zika victims are experiencing.
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