Zika Virus US Outbreak: Mosquito-Borne Illness Epidemic In The US Possible, New York City Campaigns Countermeasure

By Zee Mara, Parent Herald April 20, 04:00 am

An epidemic of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in the United States is a strong possibility. However, New York City refused to take this possibility lying down and prepared countermeasures to prevent a Zika virus outbreak.

According to Fox News, more than 350 known cases of infection of Americans who returned to the country have been recorded. Although no infection has yet been cited within US borders Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reckons this is just a matter of time. Dr. Anthony Fauci projects a few dozen cases of Zika virus infection occurrences in the US when that happens.

The Zika virus is not only transmitted by mosquitos but also by humans through sexual contact. The projection Dr. Anthony Fauci gave is not empty supposition as the yellow fever mosquito or Aedes aegypti mosquito reportedly lives in 30 states in the US. This is the type of mosquito that is responsible for a large number of cases of disease transmission.

The Zika virus was first recorded as an epidemic in Brazil. What makes Zika virus infection significant is its interference with child development during pregnancy. Babies born with Zika virus infected mothers have been known to show birth defects, most notable of which is an unusual defect called microcephaly.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that other consequences for adults with Zika virus infection should be closely studied. While these resulting complications in adults are currently individual instances, the field expert points out that concern should be raised enough to merit a closer look.

The New York Times reports that the Zika virus outbreak is being taken seriously in the Big Apple, particularly the risk that pregnant mothers and unborn babies face in the event of infection. New York City is currently preparing to fight the spread of Zika virus cases in the US.

According to the news agency, the strategy in New York City against Zika virus spread patterns after the health program designed as a countermeasure against West Nile virus. The Zika virus and the West Nile virus belong to the same flavivirus family. 

Among the actions that New York City will take is to disseminate information on testing, as well as prevention, among New Yorkers. City Hall will also allocate for mosquito surveillance programs to be expanded and for testing services to be accessible. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for the cooperation of all New Yorkers in this campaign against the Zika virus.

"We will spare no effort to protect pregnant New Yorkers from the devastating consequences of Zika, and we ask New Yorkers to help us by taking simple steps to get rid of standing water where mosquitoes can breed," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "We also ask pregnant women who may have been exposed to Zika to talk to their doctors about getting tested."

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