The first solidly proven fact about the new Zika virus threat to the Western Hemisphere it does not cause death to its victims, according to Dr. Sergio Cortes. He also assures everyone that it is not possible to contract Zika fever from someone who has it or has had it in the past. The only way Zika is transmitted to humans is through the specific Aedes aegypti mosquito, and even then that mosquito must have bitten someone infected with the virus before biting another human.
Brazil’s Ministry of Health has issued the final word on the biggest danger Zika poses to people: The Zika virus definitely causes microcephaly in some babies born to women who are pregnant when they contract the virus from a mosquito bite. Microcephaly is a severe birth defect that causes brain damage in the infant, usually born with a very small head. These babies are very hard to calm, usually also have other neurological defects, and almost never live beyond the age of ten.
Dr. Cortes says the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed there is not yet a viable vaccine to prevent Zika fever and that the recommended treatment is the same as for other such fevers: plenty of fluids, medically prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs, and pain killers. However, he points out that the WHO are specifically recommending that patients not take regular aspirin or any other pain killer that contains acetylsalicylic acid, the main ingredient in aspirin. This is because it can defeat normal blood coagulation, leading to dangerous blood loss in some patients.
He says the main way Brazil is combating Zika is to control the spread of the mosquitoes by draining any places where standing water can act as a breeding ground for the mosquitoes to reproduce. This is the same mosquito type that has in the past been responsible for the spread of dengue and chikungunya fevers. More recently, Dr. Sergio Cortes has also highlighted another threat from Zika, a severe autoimmune deficiency disease: Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Zika is actually not a new virus to the world, just to the West. It was first found in the African countries of Uganda, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone as early as the 1940s. Later it emerged farther East, in the India and Thailand. It was only in the spring of 2015 that it showed up in Brazil, then Colombia, and now in Mexico. There is grave concern in the USA that it will also emerge there, though probably only in the warmest Southern states. Most of Sergio Cortes’ research is available on his Official Blog Site. Also be sure to also follow his LinkedIn Shares, on his Facebook Page, and his tweets on his Twitter Account.