EMERGING ZOONOTIC DISEASES: ZIKA VIRUS AS A CASE STUDY

Funmilola Adebimpe Ogunmodede

Abstract

Communicable diseases are major causes of pandemics in the world. Aetiology of recent outbreaks are diseases that appear hidden in wild primates and arboreal mosquitoes. Zika virus is an example of such. It was first discovered in Africa in 1947, was silent for some period of time only to re-appear in Asia 60 years later. It is now ravaging countries in South America. About 1.3 million cases were suspected in Brazil in December 2015.It is an RNA arthropod borne flavivirus transmitted by mosquitos of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopticus groups in tropic and temperate regions respectively. It has affinity for neural cells which explains how it causes microcephaly in neonates and Guillain barre syndromes in adults. It is a self-limiting
infection which presents with fever, maculopapular rash and joints pain. It is diagnosed by identification of the virus in the serum or urine of the affected individual by reverse transcriptase PCR. Bed rest and supportive care are part of the management of this infection. Avoidance of travel to affected areas and aggressive mosquito control are methods of preventing the spread of the virus.

Keywords

Flavivirus, Mosquitoes, Microcephaly

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