Zika Spreading at Extraordinary Pace Across the AmericasDaniel McCarthy (Author) Published Date : Jan 29, 2016 19:04 ET
The explosive spreading of the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne sickness, across the Americas is taking place as tens of thousands of people will descend later this year on Brazil for the playing of the Summer Olympics.
That could make the games a springboard for transmitting the sickness around the world at the time the games end and visitors return to their homes.
A doctor with the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta said that for the majority of people the Zika virus does not represent a problem. It usually causes mild symptoms that are flu-like. However, it can also cause babies to be born with microcephaly a serious condition.
Zika virus tentatively has been associated with 4,000 cases of microcephaly in just Brazil. The condition results in babies born with heads and brains that are abnormally small. No treatment exists for microcephaly.
The Zika virus, warned the World Health Organizations is rapidly spreading across the Americas and estimates say it could affect up to 4 million people.
The world health organization says Zika was seen originally as just a mild risk for humans, but has grown rapidly since to a threat to public health of alarming proportion.
Members of WHO say that people who have the Zika virus have a low fever, conjunctivitis and skin rash. The symptoms can last from 2 to 7 days.
The best method of prevention against the Zika virus is using a mosquito repellant or another method to protect against a mosquito bite, as there is no treatment or vaccine for the sickness.
The director general of WHO Margaret Chan said the virus has spread explosively across the Americas and called for a meeting on Monday with experts to determine what measures can be taken to combat the virus.
President Barack Obama called for tests to be developed as quickly as possible along with a vaccine and treatments for the Zika virus.
He called a meeting with his senior health advisers for a discussion over the spread of the Zika virus and the development and economic experts to study the impact it will have on the Americas.
Zika Spreading at Extraordinary Pace Across the Americas