Zika Virus outbreak in Puerto Rico

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Friday, August 19, 2016

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A woman from South Dakota in the U.S. has contracted the Zika virus according to the Sioux Falls Health Department, and confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She had travelled to the Caribbean, where the situation is serious with the virus being spread by mosquitoes, according to a statement on Monday from the Department of Health.

This week there have been reports the mosquito borne virus has made it’s way to the U.S. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) the virus has been recorded in Miami where the Zika is being spread my mosquitoes not humans who have already contracted the virus. This means there are mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus in Miami. The CDC are urging pregnant women who have been recently or live in Miami to get tested.

The CDC in Puerto Rico reports 5,582 people, including 672 pregnant women, diagnosed with the mosquito-borne Zika Virus and these numbers are on the rise. The percentage of people infected rose from 14 percent in February to 64 percent in June.

A U.S. surgeon general visited Puerto Rico and told the press he believes 25 percent of the population in Puerto Rico will have contacted the Zika virus by the end of 2016. With a population of 3.5 million, that’s one in every four people.

One of the symptoms caused by the Zika Virus is a rare muscle disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), which can cause muscle weakness and paralysis for a few weeks to several months. Among the people contracting the Zika Virus, only a small percentage develop GBS.

Puerto Rican Officials reported 30 people have been hospitalised and diagnosed with the short term paralysis disorder this year.

Approximately 80 percent of people that are infected with Zika do not have symptoms, and the CDC reported the number of people infected would be much higher, but people do not know they have it so they don’t seek medical help.

The World Health Organization had declared the Zika Virus a global health emergency earlier this year, but the beginning of the Puerto Rico summer brought a spike in the number of people being effected on the island.


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