Miami Sees First Zika Case of the Year
The first case of the Zika virus within the city of Miami has now been reported. The disease, which is carried and transmitted by mosquitoes, has ravaged much of South America and has since spread to a number of areas in the Southern United States. The case in Miami is believed to be a case of the disease being transmitted sexually, as the patient’s partner was bitten by an infected mosquito while traveling in Cuba, a country where the virus remains prevalent.

As it stands, the Florida Department of Health has reported that they believe that the virus has so far only been transmitted between the two partners and there remains a limited risk to the rest of the population. There is currently no suggestion of a wider outbreak in the state of Florida, yet public health officials are advising residents to take precautions if they or their partners have recently traveled to affected areas. A master of public health degree, such as the one from The University of Arizona, is an excellent way to learn about the spread and management of virus outbreaks.

While this is the first, and so far the only, case reported in the city of Miami, it is the 206th case reported this year in the state of Florida. Overall, since the outbreak began, there have been 1,456 infections recorded throughout Florida. As a precaution, the federal Center for Disease Control has issued a domestic travel warning, advising pregnant women to stay away from Miami.

The Zika virus is harmless to adults, but it can cause severe birth defects, and so it is a threat to pregnant women. However, any adult can be a carrier, and the disease can be transmitted through sexual contact. Therefore, women who are pregnant, or who are trying to get pregnant, need to take special precautions to minimize the risk of exposure.

According to a number of different aid agencies and monitoring groups, there have so far been around 3,000 cases of microcephaly that are believed to have resulted from exposure to the Zika virus before giving birth. A controversial, yet apparently successful, pesticide called Naled is believed to have been a significant contributor to a decline in the outbreak rate. State officials launched an air-drop campaign to drop the pesticide in a number of neighborhoods following the initial outbreak in 2016.

Both environmentalists and doctors expressed concern over the indiscriminate spraying of the chemical over residential areas, fearing the long-term effects it may have on humans and on other wildlife, especially as residents didn’t have time to prepare in order to avoid inhaling the fumes.

GM Mosquitoes
Another solution which has been successful, but has also proven to be equally controversial, is the use of genetically modified and sterile male mosquitoes. When these sterilized male mosquitoes mate with females who have been infected, the eggs that result are unable to hatch, which effectively stops the spread of the virus. It is estimated that there are currently 20 million of genetically modified mosquitoes in the areas of Fresno, California alone.

Given that there is currently no vaccine for the virus it is even more imperative that public health officials with an MPH degree devise an effective solution.

1 people are following this post.
    1. Loading...