Experts from UC Davis talk about Zika Virus at a community forumAmy Walsh (Author) Published Date : Feb 21, 2016 18:26 IST
In Brazil, local health authorities observed an increase in Zika virus infections and have declared an emergency. A panel of experts spoke Saturday about the prevention, care, and transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus at a community forum hosted by the UC Davis Health System.
In February, Yolo County had one confirmed case of the virus. The infected, unnamed person had been traveling outside of the U.S., but made a full recovery, The Sacramento Bee reported.
The California Department of Public Health website reports that as of Friday, there have been three confirmed cases of the virus in California this year and 10 in the state since 2013. Zika is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Fever, rash, reddening of eyes and joint pain are common symptoms.
The virus and the mosquito are found mainly in tropical and subtropical areas, and recently there have been outbreaks in Latin America and the Caribbean, said Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County health officer. Currently, there is no vaccine or medication available to treat Zika, Kasirye said.
The speakers clarified misunderstandings the attendees had about the effect of Zika on babies and information about sexual transmission.
As per the World Health Organisation, the virus occurs in tropical areas with large mosquito populations. Authorities are investigating a possible link between the virus in pregnant women and microcephaly (a misshaped head due to poor brain development) in their babies. While there has been a lot of research corroborating this claim, there is no concrete evidence linking the two.
Talking about America, of the 80 registered Zika cases in Mexico, 45 are in the southern state of Chiapas including three of the pregnant women.
On average Mexico population 122 million has 600 cases of microcephaly per year. That figure has not change since the Zika virus outbreak in Latin America officials said.
Brazil said this week that it has registered 508 cases of microcephaly since October, a huge increase on the average annual number of 150.
Experts from UC Davis talk about Zika Virus at a community forum