Category: Zika Virus
There are medical professionals that say there’s no proof that the Zika virus causes microcephaly. But in Brazil, a relationship was established between the Zika virus and microcephaly in August 2015. Dr. Sergio Cortes, the doctor in charge of the Brazilian Ministry of Health, said that the reported cases of microcephaly were in the same areas where there was an outbreak of the Zika virus.
Dr. Sergio Cortes brought up some important points that are often discounted by certain parts of the population as well as the medical profession. Cortes said the Zika virus is not a contagious virus, so it is not transmitted from one individual to another. But on his website he also said there have been reports that the Zika virus was transmitted through sexual contact. That report came from an infected individual in North America that had sexual relations with an infected person that just returned from Brazil.
According to Dr. Cortes the only way to get the disease, based on the current proven information, is from the bite of a disease-carrying mosquito. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the main source of the Zika virus. That same mosquito is responsible for the spread of dengue and chikungunya fever.
The female Aedes aegypti mosquito likes to lay eggs in clean water, so there is an unlimited supply of breeding grounds in Brazil. Even bottle caps that contain water can be breeding grounds. Most of the reported cases of the disease are in the Northern part of Brazil, but Dr. Cortes and his staff expects the virus to spread to all areas of the country during the summer months of January, February and March.
A recent study indicated that that the eggs of Aedes aegypti mosquito can remain dormant in a dry place for more than a year. A little water during that dormant period will hatch the eggs and produce more disease carrying villains.
An attempt to eradicate the breeding grounds for mosquitoes is underway in Brazil, but completely eliminating the mosquitoes is almost impossible according to Dr. Cortes. Cortes thinks a Zika vaccine is the best solution.
For more information about Dr. Cortes and the fight to control the Zika virus, visit the Sergio Cortes on LinkedIn. Cortes also has a Twitter account. Facebook is another way to keep track of Sergio Cortes and what Brazil is doing to stop the spread of the Zika virus.