Today, Florida governor Rick Scott has declared a health emergency in four counties as a result of the Zika virus. This mosquito-born illness is not showing any sign of slowing down and what started mainly in South America has now shown us that we are not safe from infection here in the U.S. either.
So what is it? Essentially this virus is linked to deformities in babies born to infected mothers. These deformities include impaired brain function and also a smaller than normal-sized head. What officials originally believed about the virus is now being challenged as well. It appears that not only mosquito bites but also sexual contact with an infected person may cause infection.
One thing we know for sure is that at least nine cases of the virus have been reported in Florida. It’s currently believed that all these cases involved infection in other countries. With the newly discovered possibility of spreading the infection sexually, however, we are seeing a real possibility of the infection rapidly spreading.
In Brazil however officials are still claiming there is no concrete evidence that the virus is being spread through sexual contact. As a result of recent speculation, Brazil’s Health Ministry has announced that they will be calling for deeper investigation into the recent Texas report that a person in the state spread the infection through sexual contact with someone who had recently visited the affected area.
Currently there is no cure and immunization for the virus. In addition, we are observing the side effects in babies but we still don’t know the extent of the damage to adults.