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Fears Grow In Wake Of Confirmation Of 1 Case Of Zika Virus In LA County

Ebola 2.0?

CBSLA.com reporting: while incurable Zika virus mercilessly marches across Central and South Americas, new fears have emerged over it appearance in the U.S. And today marks the very first confirmation from health officials of one case of disease spotted in Los Angeles County.

A doctor with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health says the confirmed local case was that of a teenager who was not pregnant. According to the doctor, the patient had traveled outside of the United States when the Zika virus was contracted back in November.

As of now there’s no risk of its spreading, as the virus lasts only seven days inside host’s body.

Later The California Department of Public Health has also confirmed five cases of the Zika virus in the state, all from people infected outside of the U.S.

Zika virus is spread to people through mosquitoes known as Aedes which are found in the U.S as well as Brazil. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). 

In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. The outbreak in Brazil led to reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes.

The virus can cause unborn babies’ brains to be underdeveloped. The number of people infected is growing in Latin America with every day and some countries already recommended women not to have babies until a suitable cure has been found.

Only one in five people who are infected with the Zika virus feel any symptoms at all. Doctors say the greatest risk is to unborn babies.

EXPERT OPINION

Joshua Tartakovsky

The Oxitec company has genetically engineered mosquitoes which can pair and mate with infected mosquitoes and prevent any offspring. Alas, the US Food and Drug Administration needs to complete an assessment on the environment first. Judging by the past, FDA is more concerned about the “environment” than about human lives, and is responsible for approving of pesticides which cause harmful effects to humans (and a complaint was issued against it by a former researcher). FDA went on a war against the selling of raw milk but cannot protect people from Zika.

The Cuban Granma reported that one in five infected by Zika show symptoms, which appear two to seven days after infection. The rashes may also appear as slightly elated red spots on one’s skin, a Spanish doctor said. There is no vaccine or immunes for Zika. 

According to the Cuban newspaper Granma, the Zika virus was first found in a monkey in the forests of Uganda in 1947 in a study carried out by researchers of Yellow Fever. The first known Zika infection was discovered in 1952 in Uganda and Tanzania, Granma reported.
Still, it is interesting that decades passed before its sudden outbreak.

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Pedro Marin

That’s very disturbing. Although it was already known that the virus could spread through mosquito bites (even if there weren’t infected mosquitoes in US, for instance, once it bites somebody infected it can spread to other people), the fact that it can spread through sexual contact is an aggravating factor. The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) said last week that in Brazil, the current epicenter of this epidemic, 1.5 million people could be infected in 2016, and that the virus could spread to 6 million people in the Americas. That’s before these new revelations came out.

Of course, in such a scary scenario, conspiracy theories about the origins of this outbreak emerged. Although these theories should be taken into account and investigated, there are more urgent issues to worry about. It’s a fact, for instance, that poor people will be the major victims of this virus, due to the conditions they live in. There are already reports of upper-class women aborting in Brazil, as they suspect they’ve got the infection – a procedure that often leads to the death of poor women, as they can’t afford to pay for a secure abortion. Also, it’s worth to mention that babies born with microcephaly need special care. Governments need to work to stop the virus, to make everybody safe – either poor or rich – and to make sure that women who gave birth to children with physical defects will have all support needed to raise their kids.

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