When an international alert is triggered as the appearance of Zika virus, it is common to listen speculations of all kinds that cause panic. Therefore, it is very important to be cautious when discussing such an important issue, verify the information and to understand that everything that is said is not true or scientifically proven. To speak properly, we belive some statements being made in relation to the virus:
All mosquitoes can transmit the disease: Wrong
The only species of mosquito are shown to be a vector of transmission of Zika virus is the mosquito Aedes aegypti, present mainly in the tropics. Apart from the bite of the mosquito, it can also be transmitted through blood or sexual contact although it is rare. Finally, perinatal transmission (mother to child) is also being studied.
The bite of a mosquito of this species means the contagion: Wrong
To transmit the disease, the mosquito must first be infected. That is, the virus needs a vector, a way of transportation to get from one place to another. When the mosquito contact with the virus, then yes it becomes a disease vector. Mosquitoes that have not been previously infected will not transmit the virus by biting a human or an animal.
The first cases of Zika have occurred in Brazil in recent months: Wrong
Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 in the forests of Zika in Uganda (hence comes its name). Scientists were investigating yellow fever, but found a new type of microorganism, which they called by the name of this forest. Therefore, for more than five decades that there is this virus, but so far it had not come so widely any other continent.
It has been shown the link between the virus and microcephaly developed in babies: Wrong
It is true that there has been a dramatic increase in cases of microcephaly in newborns, but there is no scientific evidence to demonstrate this correlation today. According to the evidence of the preliminary analysis, the authorities recommend extreme caution to pregnant and avoid traveling to countries with the virus. The risk of malformations is associated with the spread of the mother with the virus during the first three months of pregnancy.
Zika virus always produces symptoms: Wrong
In most cases (between 70 % and 80 %) the infection goes unnoticed. When it occurs, the symptoms are flu-like fever, headache, and muscle pain or skin rashes. Other symptoms include conjunctivitis or pain behind the eyes.
We can do nothing to protect us: Wrong
While there is no treatment or vaccine today to guard against the spread of the virus, there are some precautions that we can use to help us. There are devices with proven efficacy against Aedes aegypti species transmitting the virus, which can help us to minimize the risk of bites and, as far as possible, to protect us against these diseases. On the other hand, it is important to be careful with any container with standing water where mosquitoes could proliferate, like pools, flowerpots or water dishes. -- The severity of the virus is given by the possible neurological complications and malformations in fetuses of pregnant women, although the causal relationship has not yet been proven. In addition, also it concerned the relationship between the virus and the development of Guillain - Barre syndrome in people infected, a disease that causes paralysis of different levels. Currently there is little scientific information about the disease, as studies are in the initial phase. Therefore, it is important not to panic. However, the smartest option is to take precautions and call on the best specialists in the sector, to help protect against bites, minimizing risks as far as possible.