Saturday, February 20, 2016

Everything You Need to Know About the Zika Virus Outbreak

 Aedes Aegypti Mosquito

The Article

As we have learned in our Health class, viruses usually have control over a large portion of the world. Originally breaking out in Brazil, the Zika virus has spread to Africa, South Africa, and is found in Central and South America. This virus is transmitted from being bit by an Aedis Aegypti Mosquito, and carriers can transfer it to others through sexual contact. Currently the CDC has issued travel alerts for 24 countries where the Zika virus is common.

The known symptoms include fever, rash, and joint pain. However, the scariest symptom that is causing distress is the association of the virus with microcephaly birth defect cases which results in malformed heads of the baby, causing serious developmental delays and possibly even death. Because of this, pregnant women are being heavily advised to avoid traveling to affected countries. Currently, there is no vaccine or medication that can cure this virus.

There has been talk of the affect that this virus will have on the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, including Hope Solo's concern of Olympic athletes contracting this virus. It seems to me that this virus is extremely dangerous, as it could lead to the ruined life of a child. Rio has already spent millions of dollars preparing for this Olympics, but I would definitely be concerned with the huge amount of people visiting at the same time. However, the World Health Organization ensures that Zika will recede in time for the Olympics.


Would you travel to Brazil as an athlete knowing the prevalence of the virus? And how to you think the Zika virus will affect the Games?


Thoughts on this point of view?



13 comments:

  1. I think one thing that makes me appreciate the Pope even more than before is the idea that he can temporarily go back on his word for the sake of his followers, which is something a US official in an elected position would have gotten torn apart by critics for. I also think that although this virus should be stopped and is deadly, I do not think that it is a particularly harmful virus in itself. For example, the Ebola outbreak of a few years ago had a much more devastating impact, since it actively killed those whom it infected. As referenced in the article, the Zika virus does not disable or destroy those who are already living (in almost all cases), and most people get over the symptoms within a week.

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  3. This seems so scary. To have. Mosquito flying around, and us not knowing or even caring. When actually it could be a mosquito with a virus and could give u diseases. In Brazil this is where this outbreak is happening. We need to beware of this and make sure it does not make its way into the US. And be more aware of our surroundings and keep on eye on this more.

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  4. While this is worrying as it could have disasterous effects on the Olympics in Rio, we also must remember that there are many diseases that get spread by Mosquito, like Malaria and Dengue Fever. I think the largest issue with this is that we have no cure for the Zika virus. If we can create a solution, that might be the way to prevent a major crisis regarding this disease.

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  5. Knowing that there is a virus being transmitted by mosquitos makes if fearful to travel to Brazil at all. If I was athlete I would not travel to Brazil to participate in the games because I do not want to get infected and spread this virus around. I think that everyone should take part in stopping this from spreading to any other country. I don't think that the games shall continue with this virus that is infecting people. This will cause the virus to spread to other parts of the world. Although the article stated that they believe the infections will begin to drop by the time the games start, I believe that we shouldn't take the risk of spreading it.

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  6. Thank you for bringing this issue to light. I don't know if it was very pressing before that we combat the virus, but if athletes are in danger, then it is very important that we take every measure so that they can compete for our amusement. As an athlete you can only make money by participating in your sport, so I am sure many of them have no choice but to travel just so that they can make a living. As long as the lives of the likes of Hope Solo and Apollo Ohno (if they do decide to make figure skating a part of the summer games) are on the line, we should redouble our efforts in order to keep them safe. I do think it would be interesting if the outbreak can be creatively incorporated into the games, however, for example we might have a division specific to athletes who had contracted the virus or a new endurance-focused game in which players are each given a shot of zika and the last one standing wins. So perhaps it isn't all bad.

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  7. The Zika virus has actually been an issue for a long time, but since it's starting to affect places besides developing countries, it's now "more important". If I knew there was an especially bad outbreak somewhere, I wouldn't travel there. Not even for the olympics. Not only for my own sake, but also because the more people get infected, the more it's spread to others. Whether it's for athletes lives, the lives of tourists that will bring business to Brazil, or the lives of locals, they should be working as hard as they can to stop this. The athletes have a choice to go there, and I personally think it would be extremely foolish to. It's not about saving the athletes or allowing Brazil to hold the olympics after all the money they spent, it's about helping people. It should have been a "big deal" when it first started affecting developing nations. However, like everything else, it becomes a battle to fight when it starts affecting rich countries.

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  8. I think it's important to keep the safety of the athletes and citizens attending the event in mind, but I think we should be working more to find a cure than closing down all the events in infected countries. Canceling a huge, world wide event like the Olympics is a really big deal, and Brazil was probably hoping this would help their economy. I think if the event is going to continue then we need to make sure we have precautions keeping it from spreading. This virus, though its spreading fast, is not particularly harmful or deadly. The most important this is making sure pregnant women don't go to the Olympics.

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  9. I'm actually quite surprised at the speed at which the virus spread across the entire South American continent (and into North America too.) I find it surprising that this virus in making headlines now, yet just a few months ago I had no idea that this virus existed. I think we need to find cures for all viruses before they start spreading, like Zika did.

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  10. This virus is indeed very frightening, but like many other viruses before it will more than likely be cured in 2 years or have a vaccine that is capable of preventing it. Though I believe it is best to start working on the vaccine as soon as possible instead of worrying about the Olympic's, yes it is a big event,however we should keep the athletes more in our worries so that is why I believe it should be their top priority to start working on a vaccine.

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  11. The zika virus seems to be a huge threat for anyone visiting Brazil at the moment, but I do think that the situation would be dealt with by the time the games come around. The article mentioned Brazil's government calling in the "military to assist with a nationwide push to eradicate the virus", so clearly they are taking the situation seriously. However if the games were now, I would probably not want to go to Brazil, because health is a priority, especially if I were an athlete.

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  12. This article was very informative, as I wasn't aware of how widespread this disease was. I always laugh at the assertion that this is a "World Health Crisis," because - while it truly is - they only call something that once white people start getting it. But that aside, I'm horrified by the spread of this virus, mostly because scientists really have no idea where it came from. And now it's delaying births in Brazil until 2018 due to rising birth defects. This is really scary, especially seeing as the Olympics are coming up. I think now we just need more genetically engineered mosquitos to kill the bad guys! Get out there mosquitos! Fight the power!

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  13. The Zika virus has spread to many countries, personally I'm worried that it might come to America. The virus has already crossed one ocean, from Brazil to Africa. It's a very dangerous virus and all the visitors to Brazil can be at risk or be bitten by mosquitoes. This makes me think it will spread to more countries as people go back home after the games.

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