Zika Virus News Update: The First Zika Virus Related Death In The United States Confirmed; Find Out How To Stay Protected

By Mikheyla Johnson, Parent Herald September 29, 10:20 am
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An adult female mosquito is seen uder a microscope at the Sun Yat-Sen University-Michigan University Joint Center of Vector Control for Tropical Disease on June 21, 2016 in Guangzhou, China.
(Photo : Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Zika virus is slowly becoming an epidemic that became an alarming pregnancy risk. Mothers who were infected with the virus during pregnancy are at high risk of having babies diagnosed with microcephaly, wherein the infant would be born with a relatively small head.

Zika virus became extremely rampant in South America, but it eventually spread to other continents including South East Asia, the Pacific and North America. The virus, which is usually acquired through a mosquito bite is not viral, cannot be transmitted through airborne transmissions.

There is neither vaccines nor cure for the Zika virus up to this date but there are several precautions that could be done to prevent it. The American Academy of Paediatrics suggests that women, especially pregnant mothers should consistently slather insect repellents that contain DEET.

Products with DEET are said to be highly effective and the safest way stays protected. Though DEET products do not have the capacity to kill bugs and insects, it does however effectively repel them, which is ideal for pregnant mothers as it is safe.

AAP also suggest that individuals should make sure to stay covered in the evenings. Wearing long-sleeved cover-ups and long pants can prevent Zika mosquito bites.

"DEET is the standard," Dr. Mustapha Debboun, director of the mosquito control division of Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services in Houston told NPR during an interview. "All the repellents being tested are tested to see if they beat DEET. Picaridin is a little more effective than DEET and seems to keep mosquitoes at a greater distance."

Recent news revealed that an unidentified man died of the virus. The New England Journal of Medicine confirmed that a man who was admitted in Salt Lake City was fist found with hypotension and abdominal pain. It was then discovered that he was infected with the Zika virus, which caused his death. According to the report, the man was the first recorded Zika virus related death in the United States.

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