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Zika Update: Zika Virus Is Spreading As The Summer Approaches

First Posted: Jun 05, 2016 05:15 AM EDT
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Many countries all around the globe have incidences of the Zika virus. These include Central America, South American Countries, South Pacific Islands, Cape Verde Islands, Mexico and some parts of Asia.

According to Centers for Disease and Control, the number of pregnant women with any laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection is 195 in U.S. states and the District of Columbia as of May 26. Meanwhile, in U.S. territories, there are about 146 pregnant women with any laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection as of the said date.

The CDC Arboviral Disease Branch involves provisional data reported to Arbonet for January 1, 2015, to June 1, 2016. These include 618 cases of Zika virus in US states (travel-associated cases reported). For U.S. territories, there are 4 travel-associated cases reported and 1,110 locally acquired cases reported.

According to AAP News, the federal health officials are urging on pediatricians to supervise and report any congenital Zika infections in infants. This virus causes birth defects which include brain abnormalities and microcephaly.

Eric Dziuban, M.D., D.T.M., FAAP, team lead for the CDC Children's Preparedness Unit said that one of the most important things they can do as pediatricians are to be attentive, so recognizing a child who may be at risk for Zika infections and help facilitate the testing process with the local and state health authorities making sure that children affected by Zika virus are included in the registries and reporting tools.

There is no vaccine yet for the Zika virus. Experts advise the people to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Use insect repellent but you have to coat your exposed body parts with sunscreen first. The repellent must have active ingredients like oil of lemon eucalyptus, DEET, IR3535, picaridin or para-methane-diol. Your arms and legs must be covered. This mosquito, the Aedes Aegypti, which transmits the virus, usually bites during the daytime.

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