Health

Here Is Where the Zika Virus Has Hit

January 26th 2016

By:
Nicole Charky

The first case of Zika virus was just confirmed in California on Tuesday.

mosquito-and-zika-countries

A young girl in Los Angeles County who traveled to El Salvador last November was apparently infected with the mosquito-transmitted virus, ABC7 reports. Department of health officials say she has since recovered. There is at least one other child who is believed to have contracted Zika virus, a newborn in Hawaii who was born with the birth defect, according to CNN. The Atlantic also reports that several cases have been reported in Florida, Illinois, Arkansas, Texas, and Virginia.

The alarming disease is transmitted via mosquito bites, and it is spreading in affected regions at a dangerous rate. According to the World Health Organization, it isn't showing any immediate signs of stopping.

baby-in-wash-bucket

Zika virus has been linked to a rise in birth abnormalities in Brazil and could spread to all but two countries in the Americas, the World Health Organization announced earlier this week.

The first case was reported in Brazil in May 2015.

What is Zika virus?

zika info

There are currently active Zika cases in 22 countries in the Americas, including Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, and El Salvador — where in an unprecedented move, officials in El Salvador have encouraged women in that country to delay pregnancies until 2018 due to the outbreak. Denmark has also had a confirmed case of a tourist who was infected after travel in South and Central America, the Daily Beast reports. In response to these announcements, the Centers for Disease Control has issued an expanded travel warning for U.S. women who are pregnant from traveling to 24 countries and territories in the Caribbean and Central and South America that have local transmission, according to The Washington Post.

Symptoms of Zika virus.

Those who acquire the virus show flu-like symptoms and rarely require hospitalization, the Guardian reports. The virus can be prevented "through effective mosquito control procedures, such as destroying the infected insects and larvae, or insecticide use," the Guardian notes.

The move to educate the public about the virus has led to public response and growing international concern, although officials warn that it's not expected to have the same impact or present the same global health threat as Ebola did.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released a statement and tweeted out a CNN story regarding the Zika virus on Tuesday. The front-runner encouraged more funding and research to combat the outbreak:

The virus has ravaged regions of South America in recent months, and while symptoms are considered relatively mild (fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes), the disease could pose serious risks for children born of pregnant, infected mothers. While a definitive link has not been established as of yet, experts believe that Zika virus could cause children to be born with abnormally small brains, a rare condition known as microcephaly. There is currently no treatment or vaccine available for the disease.

Watch this Discovery News video to learn more about the Zika virus outbreak:

Zika virus is spreading at a dangerous rate. How worried should you be?

Posted by Discovery News on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

RELATED: Zika Is Spreading Faster Than Health Officials Anticipated