The Zika Virus Essay

Although people say it’s not a big deal, the Zika virus is a major problem in the world today, it is damaging the lives and will have an affect on the summer olympics because there isn’t a vaccine and it can be spread quickly through mosquitoes in the warm Rio climate. In 1947, in the Zika forest, a rhesus monkey was found with a fever. Scientist at the time decided it was best to cage the animal to see if the fever diminished, after two days symptoms still remained. The worried scientist rushed the monkey to the nearest town where it could get its blood drawn, A blood serum was made and injected into lab mice.

Ten days later every mouse was infected, it was here that Zika was first recorded. Little did the people at that time know that in approximately 75 years that Zika would become an epidemic. Zika is a virus that is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms of zika are fever, rash, and joint pain. Another symptom that Zika can be associated with, red eyes. Some people don’t get this symptom but it is very common. In the past many think Zika was overlooked as a different virus called dengue, people just shrugged it off and forgot about it.

Zika is a very scary virus because that it is most common in low income poverty struck regions. Many of the people who live in these areas are unable to do anything about it. They are unable to afford bug spray or mosquito nets. Due to this Zika is able to spread much faster and many agree the world is in danger. Meghan Rosen wrote “Over 60 percent of U. S. residents live in areas threatened by Zika virus (at least during warm seasons), the team found. For southern states, especially, “there’s a potential for ongoing transmission” (Rosen 16).

A high percentage of researchers say the United States is in danger, they encourage Americans to be safe about it. Many are spraying pesticides that kill the mosquitos. Others are using large mosquito nets in outdoor areas. New reports have emerged that the Zika virus can now be transmitted sexually. As said by Kate Lunau in New global health terror “On Feb. 2, health officials in Dallas County, Texas, reported the first locally acquired case of the Zika virus on U. S. soil in the current outbreak–a person who was infected sexually” (Lunau 42). The virus is spread from a man to his sexual partners.

The reason for this because Zika stays in the seamen longer than in blood. Zika can also be passed from a mother to her child while it is in the womb. Scientist have found that babies that are born with Zika can develop microcephaly, a birth defect. Microcephaly is a birth defect where the baby’s brain is much smaller than normal. When a baby’s brain grows its head grows as well when it is inside the mother. The Zika virus does not let this happen. When a pregnant mother is infected with Zika, the virus also attacks the fetus. Zika eats away at the baby’s brain like wildfire.

With the brain not growing the head doesn’t grow. which causes the baby to be born with an abnormally small head. The hard thing about Zika is there is no cure the only way they can prevent it is from being bitten. The brazilian government is rationing out large amounts of mosquito spray and mosquito nets, they especially give precaution to pregnant mothers. Even with all of this help, Brazil’s health minister, Marcelo Castro said “his country is badly losing the battle against disease-spreading mosquitoes, and that the Zika outbreak is probably worse than it looks because so many infected people don’t exhibit symptoms.

As part of its efforts, Brazil plans to distribute mosquito repellent to some 400,000 pregnant women” (qtd in “The new” 42″). As I said before many of the people that are getting infected are from low income poverty struck areas that are out of reach to many of the people that are attempting to help. With all this help some say it will get much worse before it will get better. Many believe Zika will slowly die off like many other viruses that compare to this. One of these viruses was ebola which made big news through 2014-2015.

The only thing hat is different between the two is that ebola never really could make a large impact on the western hemisphere. On the other hand, Zika has the ability to do that. In fact Meghan Rosen wrote earlier this year,”We’ve been wringing our hands about Ebola, but Ebola was never a threat to the Western Hemisphere, Zika is” (Rosen 16). The reason for this is that Zika is most commonly passed through the bite of an infected mosquito and with a large portion of the United States being in potential areas that could hold Zika infected mosquitoes, it has many Americans scared.

The biggest thing that people are worrying about right now is the 2016 summer olympics which are held in Rio. Rio is located in Brazil which has the potential to be a main hub for Zika. Rio has many things going for it to be a high potential zika infected zone, large amounts of people and its warm humid climate is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. Brazil officials are very nervous about what could happen, many people could get infected and bring the virus to their home countries.

With this possibility it has many people wondering if there is a chance for the olympics to be called off/canceled or relocated. Marissa Guthrie wrote “It’s clear that all those potentially impacted–including NBC–are monitoring the news. Asked what would happen if athletes began pulling out, Zenkel demurs: “I don’t even want to speculate. That’s a big it” (qtd in “NBC’s Olympics” Guthrie 9). With olympics being a tremendously big money maker for Brazil, citizens and officials are doing everything they can to keep the olympics going.

In other words Brazil as a country and Rio as a city needs it. There economy is as low as it has been in decades and more and more people are going into poverty every day. With NBC being the main network for televising the olympics many of its financial backers are helping out and doing everything they can to keep “the show on the road”. Although people say it’s not a big deal, the Zika virus is a major problem in the world today, it is damaging the lives of the people it is affecting and will have an affect on the olympics because there isn’t a vaccine and it can e spread quickly through mosquitoes in the warm Rio climate.

Due to a lacking of funds many people that are in high danger zones are unable to do anything to stop the mosquitos. With more and more people getting infected a higher amount of pregnant moms are giving birth to babies with microcephaly which is a birth defect. Microcephaly is when a baby’s brain is significantly smaller than an average baby brain. With the olympics coming up much is up for debate on if the olympics will even happen due to the location being in Rio which is a hotbed for the Zika virus.