Category: Studying Zika Virus

Sergio Cortes: Zika Virus in Brazil

Symptoms and Diagnoses

Symptoms of Zika virus are generally mild and only last for a short period of about one week. Medicine is usually not needed. Dr. Sergio Cortes says that the symptoms tend to vary from person to person and they usually consist of fever, muscle pains and possibly a rash.

As far as being diagnosed as having Zika virus, Sergio Cortes says that there are not currently any tests to identify the disease, because it is has only recently been identified. As of now, the principle way to diagnose Zika is through a complex exam offered by Fiocruz and the Evandro Chagas Institute.

There is still no specific treatment for Zika virus. There are only treatments to relieve the symptoms of infection. Individuals who are infected with Zika can use anti-inflammatory medicine and pain medicine if proscribed by a doctor. As in the case with dengue and chikungunya fever, Dr.Sergio Cortes cautions that products that contain acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) should be avoided.

Zika Virus in Brazil
Today many experts believe and assert that Brazil is currently experiencing an epidemic of Zika virus outbreak, which started sometime during the middle of the year 2015. With an acknowledgement by the Brazilian government that there may exist a relationship between the Zika virus and microcephaly, which is a type of infection that can cause the underdevelopment of the brain of infants, concerns about contracting the virus have risen dramatically and caused the Ministry of Health and WHO to take steps to educate the public and focus resources on combating Zika. Indeed, they are working together to develop more working knowledge of Zika, says Dr. Sergio Cortes.

In the country of Brazil, the Northern region has the most documented cases of microcephaly which is thought to be caused by Zika virus, says Dr. Sergio Cortes. In total, there’re more than 1200 reports in 14 different states and more than 300 cities. A young child has already died because of microcephaly and two adults due to illness.
According to notes published by the Ministry of Health there are still many outstanding issues to be discovered about Zika virus. The main one, according to Dr. Sergio Cortes, is to find out how the virus functions in the human body and infects the developing fetus.

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