The Zika Virus has been spreading quickly according to Brazil’s Health Minister Dr. Sergio Cortes, throughout the world. Brazil has been seriously affected by the epidemic. In much of Brazil, the temperatures remain warm year round. Warm weather means that mosquitoes are able to readily multiply. Since the Zika Virus is a mosquito borne disease, this means that Brazil has become a hotbed for the Zika Virus. Luckily, no other known means of transmission of the Zika Virus. The Zika Virus is known to cause deleterious teratogenic effects. These teratogenic effects can severely detract from the life quality of infants born to women that caught the Zika Virus during pregnancy. All of this is even worse, because medicine is unable to treat or prevent the Zika Virus.
Sergio Cortes said that Zika Virus doesn’t just cause birth defects. Birth defects caused by the Zika Virus tend to be of an exceptional level of severity. Microcephaly is a shockingly common result of a pregnant woman getting the Zika Virus, during pregnancy. Microcephaly is when the head does not grow to the correct size. Along with the microcephaly typically comes underdeveloped brains. The underdeveloped, small brains of those with microcephaly cause them to be unable to ever attain normal cognitive ability. Without a normal cognitive ability, these infants often grow up to be unable to attain employment and have very impaired functioning. This puts a large burden on families, and it can ruin the lives of the affected individuals. Also, the virus might cause additional birth defects, such as Gullian Barre Syndrome. Guillian Barre Syndrome has historically been fairly uncommon, but it’s known to cause extreme impairment. Like microcephaly, Guillian Barre is also a birth defect of the nervous system.
Scientists have given a lot of time to researching potential cures, treatments, and preventive measures for it. So far, they haven’t turned up anything as far as an effective treatment. This means that for the time being, when pregnant women are affected by the Zika Virus, deleterious birth defects cannot be prevented. Hopefully, this won’t be the case in the future. If scientists are able to come up with an effective treatment for it, it’s possible that the risk of birth defects can be mitigated. Luckily, some plans are in the works for a Zika Virus vaccine. Furthermore, doctors intend to distribute the vaccine very widely. Nearly twenty million people will be able to get it. This has potential to successfully mitigate the risk for high risk groups. If it becomes possible to prevent Zika Virus infection, it likely will prevent many microcephaly cases in Brazil and elsewhere.
The Zika Virus has gotten to be quite a serious epidemic, and many reported cases have occurred. Treatments and preventive measures are currently being developed. It can be expected that there will be successful treatments and vaccines on the way.