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Epidemiological Analysis: Zika

Abstract

Zika, dengue, and chikungunya are viruses transferred by mosquitoes. There are cases of the pandemic in French Polynesia, Samoa, and other African and Asian countries, in which these insects have bitten people. Since the insects could be infected, the visitors should be warned about possible threats while visiting a specific country. The virus does not have a specific vaccine to be protected from the infection. However, there is a list of prevention measures that should be acknowledged by the people who could be infected. This paper discusses applications, history, recommendations, and epidemiological analysis.

 

Epidemiological Analysis: Zika

Currently, the spread of infections caused by insects is a common problem that concerns all countries. The global health organizations should also be involved into problem-solving. Specifically, Zika virus along with dengue fever, and chikungunya, which are caused by Aedes mosquito bites, requires special attention. The main purpose of the paper is to present the history and epidemiological analysis of Zika infection as well as introduce recommendations and solutions to reduce the spread of the virus all over the world. The trends show that precaution measures are much more effective for the infection elimination because there is no vaccine against this disease.

History of the Condition

Dengue fever, chikungunya virus, and Zika virus are predetermined and transmitted by a bit of a special type of Aedes mosquitoes and could not be spread from one individual to another. The Aedes mosquitoes can transfer the infection originated from New Zealand. Since 2014, the rise of the virus has been reported in many Pacific Islands such as French Polynesia, Cook Islands, New Caledonia, Tonga, and Samoa. At the end of 2015, dengue fever cases were reported in Hawaii Island. Zika is currently spreading to tropical and sub-tropical regions where the climate permits the reproduction and deployment of the mosquitoes’ species (SafeTravel, 2016). The information also reveals the cases of virus spread in New Zealand and the Pacific states where the virus is currently dangerous.

Zika is a rapidly spreading arthropod-born virus extracted from Rhesus money in Uganda in 1947. The virus is associated with dengue, and it possesses similar transmission and epidemiology cycle in urban environments. Until now, sporadic human infections were presented (Musso, Cao-Lormeau, & Gubler, 2015). In 2007, Zika was developed outside Africa and Asia for the first time leading to the spread of virus and epidemic in Micronesia and Yap Island. Later, it was followed by the enormous spread in French Polynesia in 2013-2014. As a result, it has been deployed in several states. In fact, the history of Zika reminds of chikungunya, a disease that is also called alphavirus, which was first described in Africa in 1952 (Musso et al., 2015). The virus originates from Asia and led to epidemics in Southeast Asia and India between the 50s and 80s before it emerged as an epidemiological phenomenon (Musso et al., 2015). In 2004, chikungunya re-emerged in the eastern part of Africa and had been deployed to Asia again because of its spread all over the world. These regions include Samoa, Tonga, and American Samoa.

Epidemiological Data

No vaccine would prevent the spread of dengue fever, chikungunya virus, and Zika virus. Therefore, those who wish to travel to these countries are recommended to use protective clothing and insect repellent, staying in lodging, where mosquitoes’ screens are built-in. Since all these diseases are transferred by mosquitoes, which are most active during the daytime, it is essential for travelers to take precaution measures to reduce the likelihood of mosquitoes bites (SafeTravel, 2016). The Ministry of Health online sites embrace recommendations and advice on preventing mosquitoes bites for travelers.

The clinical evaluation of Zika infection is common and ambiguous including such features as arthralgia, mild fever, conjunctivitis, and rash. Also, it could be confused with other illnesses such as chikungunya and dengue. Before the rise of the epidemic in French Polynesia, during which severe neurological complication occurred, Zika was considered to lead the spread of mild disease symptoms (Musso et al., 2015). Currently, the virus circulates in all continents, and it has been developed into a global public problem in the recent decade. The adaptation to the urban cycle (along with the mosquitoes of different species) is subgenus as vectors, and humans are presented as amplification hosts. Such a situation creates new problems and concerns to public health officials (Musso et al., 2015). With the application of over half of the world population living in the regions infected with mosquitoes, which are the potential bearers of Zika, dengue, and chikungunya, special measures should be taken by the governments of all countries concerned (Musso et al., 2015). Different applications of the trends and recommendations predetermined a spread of this problem.

It has been reported that 20 % of people out could be infected with Zika virus. Its most acknowledged symptoms include rash, fever, conjunctivitis, and joint paint. Other common features involve a headache and muscle pain. The incubation period is not known. However, it lasts approximately from three to twelve days. The illness could reveal mild symptoms that could last for about a week due to the mosquito bites. People do not suffer serious from the infections and could be transported to the hospital. Sometimes, people do not feel the symptoms and do not visit health care facilities because they do not understand that they have got the infection. It should be noted that Zika virus remains in passive form in blood, and an infected person could not suspect of the disease. As soon as a person has been infected, the corresponding protective measures should be introduced to prevent the spread of infection to other individuals. The symptoms of Zika virus and other related viruses could also spread through a special type of insects.

When it concerns treatment, there is not specific medicine or vaccine. However, a therapist may prescribe to have plenty of rest, drink much water, and take acetaminophen to relieve pain and fever. It is not advised to take non-steroidal drugs such as aspirin. While taking medicine, the infected individuals should talk to health care professionals about the relevance and compatibility of these medications with the infection and other personal characteristics. All these recommendations could turn out helpful and relief pain and patients’ suffering.

Applications of Levels of Preventions According to the CDC based on Healthy People 2020

Judging from the above-presented overview of the speed of spread and deployment of the virus, it should be stressed that serious measures and prevention mechanisms should be adjusted to reduce the percentage of the infected people and lessen a number of cases. First of all, the preventive steps should refer to the analysis of climate, flora, and fauna of the most infected region that defines the major obstacles to introducing the new vaccination schemes. Currently, the Center for Disease and Control (2016) has presented a list of known facts about the disease. First of all, there is no vaccine against Zika, and prevention mechanisms are possible through the eradication of the mosquito bites. Mosquitoes, which bear Zika virus, should be controlled during the daytime, and this virus is also the derivative of chikungunya and dengue. Finally, sexual transmission of Zika could also be prevented using contraception such as condoms.

There is a list of steps that should be taken to reduce the likelihood of mosquito bites. While traveling to the countries in which Zika virus is spread, tourists should follow certain rules. First of all, they should wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. They should state in places in closed premises with air conditioning and use door and window screens to keep mosquitoes outside the screens. Further, it is important to sleep under a special net against mosquitoes. If tourists are outside, they should use special sprays protecting them from mosquito bites. Sprays should be permitted and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. While using the registered form, the travelers should adhere to the instructions and reapply repellent if necessary. When it concerns the use of spray for children, they should realize that the spray is forbidden for kids younger than two months of age. Putting on special clothing is the key protective mechanism. Younger children should not be allowed to travel to such countries to avoid complications.

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If a person is aware of all warning and precaution measures, he/she should also warn other people ignoring the problem. They should also know the infection spread period on persons who were bitten by the mosquito and were infected. During the week after the infection spread, the virus could be detected in blood and transferred from one infected individual to another through bites. Then, an infected mosquito could deploy the virus to other individuals. To prevent others from the threat of infection, people should avoid mosquito bites during the first week of the disease development. Travelers should know that means of blood should also deploy Zika and transfer from the infected individual through mosquito bites. As a result, it is essential to use protective mechanism and provide all information to the ignorant population to prevent the spread of the illness.

Zika, dengue, and chikungunya are among the most serious problems of the current days due to the cases of the pandemic in ocean region of the world and countries with tropical and sub-tropical countries. The virus is transferred through mosquito bites, and an infected person can undergo a headache, fever, and rash. The symptoms could be revealed in a week, and one might not be aware of the virus. The travelers should be warned about the possibility of infection and take the corresponding measures prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Specifically, the recommendation relates to clothing, places, and warning regarding the mosquito bites. The countries in which the epidemic is revealed should also be highlighted for the visitors to take into consideration. The treatment and medication should also be prepared for the potential travelers to know they can be protected from possible threats. There is a list of rules and recommendations presented by the health care professionals.

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