Professor Peter J. Hotez who has a long and distinguished career in tropical diseases has warned that unless action is taken on the spread of the Zika Virus now, we could see a catastrophy in 9 months time. He warns World leaders, governments and health organizations against ‘dithering‘ in order to try and avert an all out epidemic.
Today it is being reported that the first case of Zika being passed through sexual intercourse has been confirmed in Texas, USA. A worrying development that will not make the World Health Organization‘s (WHO) task any easier since it declared a Public Health Warning. Two cases of the virus have also been confirmed in Ireland this morning, reports indicate that in both cases the individuals had travelled to a known area of infection.
The Zika Virus was first identified in Uganda and is named after the Zika Forest where it was isolated for the first time in 1947. The disease is transmitted by the daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes. In humans, the virus causes a mild illness known as Zika fever, however, to women who are considering pregnancy, there is a possible link between Zika fever and microcephaly in newborn babies by mother-to-child transmission. With thousands of cases being reported across South America, local and national health authorities are struggling to contain the spread of the virus.