An emergency committee meeting held on Tuesday has resulted in a report by the World health organization (WHO) that sexual transmission of the Zika virus is more common than has previously been projected. The UN health agency also says that there was increasing evidence of links between Zika and various birth defects.
Several countries have apparently reported cases of sexual transmission of the mosquito spread disease. WHO Director General Dr Margaret Chan said “reports and investigations in several countries strongly suggest that sexual transmission of the virus is more common than previously assumed”. She called the development alarming also revealing that the commonly reported microcephaly is just one of the several conditions that the WHO had linked to the virus.
Zika symptoms range from; fever, joint pain, rash, conjunctivitis/red eyes, headache, muscle pain, eye pain. One of the newly revealed diseases that stem from the virus is a rare condition known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). The syndrome which has reported a rise in nine countries causes temporary paralysis and death.
Dr. Chan also said that the problems associated with the virus were now not only being seen in women of child-bearing age but also teenagers, older adults and children. The precautions suggested to combat the menace therefore still stand, as pregnant women are advised not to travel to areas with ongoing Zika outbreaks. they are also to practice safe sex with anyone previously infected or preferably refrain from having sex for the duration of their pregnancy.
Dr Anthony Fauci, who leads the US government’s research programme had declared last week that a vaccine for the Zika virus could be ready for human trials later in the year, so we’ll continue to keep our fingers crossed.