Zika Mild yet Destructive Assignment Sample

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This report is based on Zika virus and has supported to offer in-depth understanding regarding the research topic. This study has given focus towards discussing various parameters in the context of Zika to explain that although this virus is mild but gives disruptive effect. This study has supported to offer the understanding regarding general information of Zika virus. Furthermore, this study has supported to analyse the symptoms of Zika Virus while focusing towards the transmission of this virus. Furthermore, this study has supported to discuss the region of travel and prevention measurements in the context of this virus. In like manner, this study has supported to identify the measures which are employed at a global platform to fight with Zika virus. This study is based on secondary data analysis and has enabled to offer detailed understanding regarding the research topic.

Zika Mild yet Destructive Assignment

Zika, one out of the many Arbovirus (RNA viruses transmitted through arthropods) was discovered in the forests of Uganda back in 1947 and after several discoveries it was found to be affecting human beings. The symptoms of this disease are mild (Vorou, 2016).. Dengue and Chikangunia are pretty much similar to Zika virus disease in terms of its symptoms and hence are quite often confused for each other. Although it is described as a mild virus it still can cause serious complications such as microcephaly in pregnant women and gullian barre syndrome in individuals. There are four different ways in which it can be transmitted: through bite of a mosquito, sexual intercourse, blood transfusion (still under investigation) and perinatal transmission from mother to the her baby in the womb. The wide spread of zika in different countries of the world led WHO declare it as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

Zika virus is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus in the family Flaviviridae, which includes several other mosquito borne viruses of clinical importance. The vector of this disease is Adese family.

Zika Virus: Historical Overview  

A virus that was discovered accidently in the Zika forest of Uganda in the mid nineties (1947) spread massively from Africa to other continents of the world (Fauci, & Morens, 2016). It was found only after a few years of its discovery that this virus can cause human disease (1952) (WHO,2016). Only 14 human cases were reported before the first large outbreak in the yap island where 73% of the total population was affected by zika virus in 2007. This was the first outbreak outside Africa and Asia which came into notice. An unrecognised outbreak took place from 1977-1978 in Indonesia. Then again from 2007 until 2013 nothing was reported. In 2013 the disease once more came into the lime light when 369 epidemiologically confirmed and 29000 suspected cases were reported in French Polynesia. 2015 marked the widespread of zika virus in Brazil after some Brazillian participants and spectators got infected while they were                                  and then transmitted the disease to others in the country. A huge total of 1.3 million people were affected by the end of 2015 alone in Brazil (Vorou, 2016).  This led to declaration of zika as a public health emergency of international concern on 1 February 2016 by the world health organisation defined under the IHR (2005).

It is really interesting to put down that nothing was published on Zika virus before the large outbreak in the yap island and even after that 4 studies were done which included 3 case studies and 1 surveillance study ( Paixão et.al,2016).

Symptoms of Zika Virus

The similarities between the symptoms of Zika to that of other arbo-viruses like dengue, chikangunia and yellow fever is the very possible cause of under reporting of the zika virus cases globally. Therefore clinical evaluation in isolation is not a reliable source of detecting zika virus in humans. Laboratory testing is hence a way to confirm the zika infection in individuals. Patients having complaints like fever, rashes, etc should be tested for Zika, chikangunia and dengue for best treatment (Plourde, & Bloch, 2016).

Transmission of Zika Virus

The transmission of this virus takes place through mosquitoes just like other flavi viruses. Mosquitoes of the genus Adese are the primary source of transmitting the virus. Specific species of the genus responsible include Ae. aegypti, Ae. africanus, Ae. hensilli, and Ae. albopictus. Ae. aegypti is the main vector of this virus and breeds around people and their homes (Paixão et.al,20016). Stagnant water is the place for laying eggs for these mosquitoes leading to more and more transmission of this virus by them in places where standing water can be found for e.g. flower pots, bathrooms, bath tubs, empty containers etc. These mosquitoes bite in the daytime. The major reason for the current epidemic condition in the Americas can be attributed to the preferable climatic conditions for Ades Aegypti breeding, which are distributed throughout the Americas except Chile.

Apart from the vector there are other responsible non vector factors that can transmit the zika virus. The other ways of transmission include sexual transmission, perinatal transmission and transmission through blood transfusion (Plourde, & Bloch, 2016). A report published in 2015 established a link between Zika virus transmissions with platelet transfusion where 2 patients acquired the virus from an infected donor. Although none of the two recipients reported any symptoms of the disease (Motta et.al, 2016)

Sexual transmission of this disease was first discovered in 2008, when a scientist working in his lab in senegal returned home in Colardo and passed on the virus to his wife through sexual intercourse (WHO,2016). Just like in the case of blood transfusion a similar report was documented where a women living in Paris caught the disease by having sex with a man from Rio De Jenairo in February 2016 (the time when Brazil was highly affected by this infectious virus). This report showed through a series of different tests that Zika  virus can be transmitted through sexual intercourse but also highlighted that the sexual transmission can take place through either semen or other biological fluids ( saliva and pre ejaculation secretions) and more research on the two paths of transmission is needed (D’Ortenzio et.al,2016)

The relationship between Zika virus and United Kingdom is quite simple. The vector responsible for this disease is not found in this country and therefore it is of not much concern to residents of this country in particular. Still some sort of public health intervention or method of prevention is required to avoid this virus from entering the country though international travelers and uk residents coming back from a country fighting with Zika virus.

A total of 295 cases have been reported in the UK, all of them being transmitted through travelers.  7 out of the total number were found in pregnant women and 1 case was because of sexual activity. 199 cases were confirmed and other 96 were probable cases of infection.(PHE,2017).

Region of travel for Zika

Region of travel for Zika cases diagnosed in UK travellers since 2015,(PHE,2017)

Region of travel Total
Caribbean 215
Central America 34
South America 33
South-Eastern Asia 4
North America* 2
Oceania 1
More than one region 5
Not stated 1
Grand total 295

Viral RNA identification by means of PCR is the best methods for identifying the infection; in any case, it is just positive in blood tests for up to 7 days from manifestation onset. Pee tests can be certain for Zika infection RNA for more than 10 days. Zika infection antibodies (serology) are noticeable around 1 week after the begin of manifestations and the test stays positive for a while. Zika serology is the trial of decision for asymptomatic patients. While it rushes to perform, Zika serology is inclined to cross-reactivity and corroborative testing requires extra time.

Prevention Measurements

Prevention of this disease is one thing every country effected by it is trying to sort out. There a variety of different ways, this can help to overcome this problem of spreading of this virus. In order to get rid of this relatively new virus following steps should be taken as stated by UNICEF, & World Health Organization. (2016)

  • Get rid of all the breeding sites for mosquitoes as they can lay eggs in clean as well as stagnant water that can be found in containers, cans, bottle caps, playgrounds in or near home and schools.
  • Wearing full sleeves clothes is a very easy way of protecting yourself from the bite of a mosquito and so is using the insect repellents.
  • Women living in Zika affected areas who wish to have a baby should delay their pregnancy and for that the couple should have safe sex using condoms or contraceptive pills are the best way.
  • Women who have had unprotected sex and do not wish to become pregnant should be counselled by their health care provider on emergency contraception as soon as possible.
  • Special care of new born babies should be taken. Babies with symptoms of zika should be taken to the doctor immediately without any delay.
  • Ladies who wish to suspend their pregnancy ought to get precise data about their alternatives to the full degree of the law, including harm reduction where the care coveted is not promptly available.
  • People should avoid travelling to countries fighting Zika and if they do, it is necessary to take suitable measures.
  • New born with the possibility of having a microcephaly disorder needs support from the parents as well as professional health care providers.
  • Relatives with indications of Zika ought to get a lot of rest, drink enough liquids, and treat for agony and fever with normal prescriptions (maintaining a strategic distance from headache medicine or non-steroidal mitigating pharmaceuticals). There is neither an immunization to avert nor particular medicine to treat Zika. On the off chance that indications compound, look for medicinal care and counsel.
  • Health professionals like doctors and nurses need to secure themselves and play it safe to make perfect and safe conditions for both themselves and those in need.

Measures Employed at a Global Platform to fight with Zika

A variety of measures are employed throughout the world to fight the Zika virus infection but still the virus is not in full control of the government officials and health organisations working in this field. Therefore, it is important to bring into notice/ highlight the loop holes in these measures of preventions or policies. Poverty, less knowledge, limited access to mosquito precautions, contraception, and abortion services puts women of childbearing age at higher risk of suffering from Zika virus disease. Everything about the virus is easily available on the internet and is stated clearly for the common man to read. But it is important to get the answers of the following questions: how clean are the villages and not only the urban areas of a certain countries?  Are these people living in the villages know what zika virus is?  Are there any proper healthcare facilities available to these people? How many people can access the health care facilities available? Also, it is important to stress that it is not just the duty or responsibility of the government to stop this virus from spreading alone. The people themselves have a role to play. Small and simple ways such as wearing full sleves clothes, using insect repellents, not travelling to places that are zika affected, safe sexual practices, keeping homes and surrounding rid of standing water can make a big difference itself. By protecting yourself you are protecting others too as a person suffering from zika virus when bitten by a mosquito infects that mosquito and makes that mosquito a threat for other people who it might bite afterwards. It is not wrong to say ‘Safety begins at home’.

Intervention Strategies to Deal with Zika

There is various intervention strategies have applied by the public health sector to prevent the ZIKA virus which remain capable to acknowledging the urbanization of diseases which spread through animal associated with population explosion. There are basically five clear strategies can be described which will remain effective to eliminate the chances of Zika virus (Oliveira Melo, et al., 2016). For this purpose, interventions by public health authorities can be made. In this perspective, the first strategy which is needed to be implemented is to intercept the enzootic life cycle. In this perspective, it is essential to stop the vector growth in the native environment. However, there is a limitation to this strategy because it would not remain feasible for ZIKA as it is difficult to control the vector. In like manner, it is also identified that there is not any vaccine available for ZIKA which can be inoculated in primates.

Furthermore, the second strategy is to control the exposure of vulnerable subjects to the vector. For this purpose, bed nets and mosquito repellents can be used to decrease the exposure. The third strategy that can be implemented is to reduce the disease burden to limit the vector to the urban population. In this context, control can be taken place through adapting the vectorial capacity of the Aedes mosquito. Moreover, Sheridan, et al. (2017) identified that limiting the travel to infected areas will also remain supportive to minimize the risk of this virus. In like manner, the most helpful strategy is to eliminate the vector reservoirs. Stagnant water reservoirs create the situation of uncontrolled reproduction of mosquitoes. In like manner, it is essential to focus towards effective garbage management to create hindrance towards the vector proliferation (Rosenberg, et al., 2016). Fifth intervention is that there is a need of avoiding the recurrence of the disease as there are some areas where humans act as the source of virus for infection in non-human primates such as monkeys. For this purpose, it is essential to focus towards avoiding the mosquito bites to infected humans which will remain supportive to prevent the spill over. It is essential to focus towards public health authorities as this virus is not confined to a particular geographic location. Moreover, vector-based transmission and blood transfusion can create the situation of spreading the disease. In the perspective, Gonzalez, et al. (2016) determined that in the recent blood donation camp at French Polynesia, it is identified that 3% of the donors were screened positive in the context of Zika. There is a need of focusing towards improving the sanitation condition and anti-viral drugs which will remain supportive to create effective intervention and will enable to control the Zika virus. In like manner, there is a need of reducing the vector density through environmental management and vector modification (Schwartz, 2016).


From the above report, it can be concluded that there is a need of focusing towards Zika virus and to implement effective intervention strategies to control the situation of spreading this disease. There is a need of applying effective prevention measurements so that this virus can be controlled. Global climate change and urban crowding is also increasing the growth of Zika virus so it is essential to give focus towards various parameters to control this disease. It will enable to rethink the public health infrastructure and to design effective disease-control strategies


D’Ortenzio, E., Matheron, S., de Lamballerie, X., Hubert, B., Piorkowski, G., Maquart, M., … & Leparc-Goffart, I. (2016). Evidence of sexual transmission of Zika virus. New England Journal of Medicine, 374(22), 2195-2198.

Fauci, A. S., & Morens, D. M. (2016). Zika virus in the Americas—yet another arbovirus threat. New England Journal of Medicine, 374(7), 601-604.

Gonzalez, M. J., Berdie, M. J., Miranda-Massari, J. R., Duconge, J., Rodríguez-Lópe, J. L., & Adrover-Lópezz, P. A. (2016). High Dose Intravenous Vitamin C Treatment for Zika Fever. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine31(1).

Motta, I. J., Spencer, B. R., Cordeiro da Silva, S. G., Arruda, M. B., Dobbin, J. A., Gonzaga, Y. B., … & Costa, D. A. (2016). Evidence for transmission of Zika virus by platelet transfusion. New England Journal of Medicine, 375(11), 1101-1103.

Musso, D., Stramer, S. L., & Busch, M. P. (2016). Zika virus: a new challenge for blood transfusion. The Lancet, 387(10032), 1993.

Oliveira Melo, A. S., Malinger, G., Ximenes, R., Szejnfeld, P. O., Alves Sampaio, S., & Bispo de Filippis, A. M. (2016). Zika virus intrauterine infection causes fetal brain abnormality and microcephaly: tip of the iceberg?. Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology47(1), 6-7.

Paixão, E. S., Barreto, F., da Glória Teixeira, M., Maria da Conceição, N. C., & Rodrigues, L. C. (2016). History, epidemiology, and clinical manifestations of Zika: a systematic review. Journal Information, 106(4).

PHE Zika virus: Epidemiology and cases diagnosed in the UK. (2016a, November 18). Retrieved February 27, 2017, from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/zika-virus-epidemiology-and-cases-diagnosed-in-the-uk/zika-virus-epidemiology-and-cases-diagnosed-in-the-uk

Plourde, A. R., & Bloch, E. M. (2016). A literature review of Zika virus. Emerging infectious diseases, 22(7), 1185.

Rosenberg, A. Z., Yu, W., Hill, D. A., Reyes, C. A., & Schwartz, D. A. (2016). Placental pathology of Zika virus: viral infection of the placenta induces villous stromal macrophage (Hofbauer cell) Proliferation and Hyperplasia. Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine141(1), 43-48.

Schwartz, D. A. (2016). Autopsy and postmortem studies are concordant: pathology of Zika virus infection is neurotropic in fetuses and infants with microcephaly following transplacental transmission. Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine141(1), 68-72.

Sheridan, M. A., Yunusov, D., Balaraman, V., Alexenko, A. P., Yabe, S., Verjovski-Almeida, S., … & Roberts, R. M. (2017). Vulnerability of primitive human placental trophoblast to Zika virus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences114(9), E1587-E1596.

UNICEF, & World Health Organization. (2016). Risk communication and community engagement for Zika virus prevention and control: a guidance and resource package for country offices for coordination, planning, key messages and actions.

Vorou, R. (2016). Zika virus, vectors, reservoirs, amplifying hosts, and their potential to spread worldwide: what we know and what we should investigate urgently. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 48, 85-90.

WHO 2017, W. (2016, February 16). Zika virus. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from http://www.wpro.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs_05182015_zika/en


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