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Zika virus is threatening the world! 2016-02-23 오후 9:51:00

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern" (PHEIC) Monday over the Zika virus on Feb. 1, 2016. This is the 4th declaration of WHO after flu pandemic(2009), Polio(2014) and Ebola virus(2014).
Zika virus was first discovered from a monkey in Uganda’s Zika forest in 1947. And the first human infected by Zika virus has broken out in Tanzania, Uganda in 1952. It was mainly occurred in Africa until suddenly many infected patients appeared in Micronesia located in West-Pacific Ocean. Still, this accident didn’t catch much attention from people. But the world realized the magnitude of Zika virus after its enormous occuranc in Brazil which results in microcephaly newborn infants. So far, Zika virus has been occurred in some countries like China in Asia and 33 countries around Central and South America.
How did it become an issue then? On August, 2015, in Recife, the port city of Brazil, mothers with newborn babies searched Vanessa Van Der Linde, a neurologist because babies had smaller head compared to other normal babies. These babies were microcephaly. Microcephaly is a congenital malformation where infants have 32cm of head size whereas average size is 34~37cm. Vanessa met three microcephaly babies in one day while she met one child every 3~4 months before. After one week, she heard the news from another hospital that seven microcephaly babies were treated in one day.
The main route of virus infection is by mosquito unlike MERS which is respiratory infections. It rarely infected by blood transfusion and sexual relations. It is also possible to be infected through salvia because Zika virus was detected in urine and spit. Moreover microcephaly can cause nervous system diseases such as mental retardation, walking difficulty or visual impairment. In severe cases, patients can die. The Brazil’s port city, Recife has two rivers which quality of water is not good and that can make a good habitat for mosquito. This problem becomes more severe in slums. For example, Ibura located in the North of Recife is the typical town where Zika virus occurred a lot. The expert said : a microcephaly baby can not live as a normal child. Parents should help a lot with rehabilitation treatment and stimulate a child’s brain. Despite of this effort, they will still find difficulty with walking and speaking.
Brazil disease prevention authorities came up with a contingency plan to prevent from the furthermore spread of Zika virus anymore. This emergency plan was necessary because the carnival was just around the corner and Zika virus could affect Rio Olympic which will be hosted in Brazil on August. They targeted even private buildings, mobilized around twenty million military forces and even banned kissing during the carnival!

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