The Zika Virus Brought to American Attention


Kiera Geraghty

Created on Piktochart

Havana Frakes, Contributing Writer

The Zika Virus Causes Zika Fever.  The Zika Fever does not yet have a cure.

  • Symptoms of the Zika Virus include : red eyes, fever, fatigue, pain in the back of the eyes, muscles, or joints.
  • The most drastic effects are on pregnant women and their babies.

The Zika virus is believed to cause Microcephaly in developing fetuses, which causes  unusually small heads and brains.

  • It can be spread through mosquito bites, or sexual contact with someone who has contracted the disease.

Dr. Kohaut, an OBGYN here in Jacksonville, suggested the following preventive measures:  “Travel restrictions as posted by the CDC for pregnant women, insect repellent (it’s only a question of time until we’ll have Zika here) and for pregnant women whose partners have traveled: condom use.”

  • The highest number of cases are in South America, including:  Colombia, Brazil, Guatemala, Haiti, and Mexico.
  • Countries including El Salvador advise to refrain from becoming pregnant if living in these areas, to prevent the risk of birth defects such as Microcephaly.                                    “Zika is thought to cause microcephaly in infants born to mothers infected with the virus while pregnant.   The final proof of a case control study is missing, but I believe that is only a question of time.” said Dr. Kohaut.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 people infected with the Zika Virus contract Zika Fever.
  • Once infected with the Zika Virus, it is unlikely they will contract it again.
  • The Zika Virus has a significantly higher impact on the poor. This is due to their low water supply and inability to undertake precautionary measures allows the disease-carrying mosquitoes to thrive.
  • The first European case has just been discovered in Spain.                           
  • “The WHO calls it a public health emergency.  Though the virus’s spread will be limited by climate etc airplanes are not and it only takes a few hours to travel halfway around the world.” said Dr. Kohaut.                     
  • Zika has been around at least 50 years.                                                       
  • It simply took time for the virus to spread and hit a large population.  I believe it was first detected in Uganda in a monkey, then spread along the equator, Pacific and since last year the Americas.  So yes, it’s an old virus but new to this part of the world.” reported Dr. Kohaut.
  • The Zika Virus has been discovered in 5 Florida counties.  

These counties are Lee, Santa Rosa, Miami-Dade, St. Johns and Hillsborough.

“Although Florida’s current nine Zika cases were travel-related, we have to ensure Florida is prepared and stays ahead of the spread of the Zika virus in our state,” said Governor Rick Scott.