We will provide a brief overview of the virus then brief about the virus in SE Asia. We will give the source of our information and links.
We are not doctors and if ill or would like more information please check with a health professional.
From the CDC. http://www.cdc.gov/zika/about/overview.html
Zika can be transmitted through
- Mosquito bites
- From a pregnant woman to her fetus
- Blood transfusion (very likely but not confirmed)
Many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika are
- Joint pain
- Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
Other symptoms include:
- Muscle pain
Symptoms can last for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. Once a person has been infected with Zika, they are likely to be protected from future infections.
Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect of the brain called microcephalyand other severe fetal brain defects. Other problems have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, such as defects of the eye, hearing deficits, and impaired growth. There have also been increased reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome, an uncommon sickness of the nervous system, in areas affected by Zika.
There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. Here’s how
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Treat your clothing and gear with permethrin or buy pre-treated items.
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients:
DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol. Always follow the product label instructions.
- When used as directed, these insect repellents are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- Do not use insect repellents on babies younger than 2 months old.
- Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old.
- Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home.
- Mosquito netting can be used to cover babies younger than 2 months old in carriers, strollers, or cribs.
- Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.
- Prevent sexual transmission of Zika by using condoms or not having sex.
- Diagnosis of Zika is based on a person’s recent travel history, symptoms, and test results.
- A blood or urine test can confirm a Zika infection.
- Symptoms of Zika are similar to other illnesses spread through mosquito bites, like dengue and chikungunya.
- Your doctor or other healthcare provider may order tests to look for several types of infections.
There is no specific medicine or vaccine for Zika virus. Treat the symptoms:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Take medicine such as acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain.
- Do not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.
Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 and is named after the Zika Forest in Uganda. In 1952, the first human cases of Zika were detected and since then, outbreaks of Zika have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Zika outbreaks have probably occurred in many locations. Before 2007, at least 14 cases of Zika had been documented, although other cases were likely to have occurred and were not reported. Because the symptoms of Zika are similar to those of many other diseases, many cases may not have been recognized.
What we know
Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters. They can also bite at night.Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
Where Is the Zika Virus in Southeast Asia?
Laos becomes just the latest country to report a local transmission.
By Rui Hao Puah
March 14, 2016
Earlier this month, Laos became the latest country to report a local transmission of the Zika virus, joining neighbors Cambodia, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia that have each reported at least one Zika-related case since 2010. Thailand has been the worst-hit amongst the lot so far, with nine cases reported since 2012.
The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that the Zika virus is more common in Southeast Asia that the sprinkling of cases reported in the region in the past several years. Southeast Asia’s growing urban centers, tropical climate, and often poor waste management are factors that increase the risk of a Zika epidemic. The region is also susceptible to bi-annual monsoon seasons that increase breeding sites for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also responsible for spreading dengue and chikungunya virus.
Since being detected in the 1950s, sporadic Zika cases have not attracted enough attention from medical researchers. It is worrying that little is known about Zika’s prevalence in Southeast Asia and the population’s immunity against it.
Governments in the region are taking no chances in their efforts to fight the disease. Countries like Singapore and Malaysia have stepped up a series of measures to curb the outbreak of an epidemic – including added detection measures, hospital and clinic management, and stringent quarantine rules – should the number of cases surge. Scientists from the region are also racing to put together a detection kit for the virus, with kits expected to be available from the end of March.
According to the WHO, there has so far been no link between Zika and microcephaly in Southeast Asia. Microcephaly is a birth defect associated with abnormal smallness of the head and incomplete brain development. The Zika virus first caught the world’s attention when thousands of cases reported in Brazil dating back to 2015 appeared to suggest a strong correlation with fetal brain deformities amongst the newborn children of infected pregnant women.
For now, the WHO classifiesThailand and the Philippines as countries with “sporadic transmission” of the Zika virus, as opposed to most countries in South America and the Caribbean which have seen “increasing or widespread transmission.” Indonesia, Malaysia, and Cambodia have not made the list.
The Laos case confirms the widening of Zika’s prevalence in the region even if its spread is not yet as explosive as in South America. With the WHO’s attention focused on containing the Zika virus and avoiding another Ebola debacle, in Southeast Asia, the worry is not so much an undetected epidemic as it is regional states being ill-equipped to respond if an outbreak does occur.