Mosquito-borne Zika Virus Information Sources as of January 29, 2016
In late January 2016, reports since May 2015 of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and the suspected connection between the virus and brain defects in newborns, led to rapidly increasing attention to the potential for the virus to spread further. The virus is carried by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, which breeds in areas of standing water.
As of Jan. 29, 2016, the Virginia Department of Health had reported one case of the virus in a Virginia resident who had traveled to a Zika-affected country. According to the VDH’s news release on this case, “the association between Zika virus and birth defects has not been firmly established and is being investigated further. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms can last from several days to a week. There is no vaccine to prevent and no medicine to treat Zika virus infection.”
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Health Regulations Emergency Committee will hold a meeting on February 1, 2016, in Geneva, Switzerland, on the virus and on the observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations that may be linked to the virus.
Following are several sources of information about the Zika virus; all URL’s noted were functional as of 1/29/16.
Virginia Resident Tests Positive for Zika Virus after Travel in Zika-Affected Country, Virginia Department of Health news release, 1/26/16.
PBS NewsHour report on 1/28/16 (6 min./4 sec), online at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/why-is-zika-virus-spreading-so-quickly/.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Zika Virus,” online at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/; “Surveillance and Control of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in the United States,” online at http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/resources/vector-control.html.
World Health Organization, “Zika Virus,” online at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/.