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Zika Virus Description Essay

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    The Zika virus is not something that is just emerging, but it is a virus that many people are not too familiar with. The Zika virus is said to be similar to having dengue fever, yellow fever, or the West Nile virus. It is carried by infected Aedes aegypti mosquitos, which means the most common way the virus is transmitted is through their bites (Rosenburg, S, E., Doyle, L, J., Klein, Adam, Sharp, 2018). Any and everyone is at risk of acquiring this virus if not using the necessary precautions to stay safe. There are a handful of group interventions that have useful recommendations on how everyone can stay safe and prevent the spread/transmission of the virus. Many organizations and agencies started programs and campaigns to address the issue and give people a chance to learn about the virus and protect themselves whether they were unaware or aware but not knowledgeable about the virus. Although the issue of the Zika virus is enough to cause problems, there are other difficulties that come along with acquiring the virus that could lead to consequential health problems.


    The Zika virus came about in 1947 in a Uganda Zika forest first said to be found in monkeys and in humans in 1952. Back when the Zika virus was first discovered cases continued to rise quickly because of the ways the virus was able to be transmitted was from common things everyone does such as having sex or going outside/travelling. It is common for someone to go about without knowing they have the virus because there could be no symptoms. If symptoms are present, they would be in the range of having a fever, a rash, joint pain, red eyes, or vomiting. Symptoms are usually mild and typically last no longer than a week, and as of now there is cure, but treatment is provided to help with the symptoms (Symptoms “CDC”, 2019). To prevent the spread of the virus it is recommended that everyone wears a condom when having sex, wear mosquito repellent and long sleeve shirts and pants, try not to travel in areas with a mass number of outbreaks (Rosenburg, S, E., Doyle, L, J., Klein, Adam, Sharp, 2018).

    Populations at Risk

    Any person of any age, gender, or race is at risk of acquiring the virus is they are not careful, but the highest incidences were in people aged 20-29. Just by traveling in an area that is known to have many outbreaks or areas that are known to have mosquitos a person is put at risk. By having sex with someone unprotected each person is putting one another at risk and those who they choose to have sex with after. Pregnant women are a more greater risk if they contract the virus because it is known to cause problems with pregnancy such as loss of the baby or the virus can then be passed along to their baby causing a birth defect called microcephaly and other brain problems (Boskey, 2019).


    The purpose of an intervention is having the intent to modify a specific outcome. In the case of the Zika virus, an intervention would be helpful in informing people about what it is and how it can affect anyone who has it or may be in jeopardy of getting it. A Zika virus intervention can motivate people to protect themselves and take every necessary step needed in order to prevent getting the virus or spreading it amongst others if it is contracted. I have four Zika interventions that I find would be very useful in getting the facts out. The first intervention I discovered was PRDOH (Puerto Rico Department of Health) which did a presentation specifically for pregnant women about how they can keep themselves and their babies safe. The second intervention was IMM (Integrated Mosquito Management) which manages mosquito populations to relieve nuisance and protect public health and provides information to the population on how they are dealing with the mosquitos and how to keep them away. The third intervention was VDCI (Vector Disease Control International) which helps the fight against mosquitos and provides information to the public on how to keep them away and what they are doing to get rid of them, the same as IMM. The last intervention I discovered was CZVP (Congenital Zika Virus Program) which was created to provide expecting families with a specific diagnosis and care plan. These interventions have been very successful in gathering people together and telling them everything they needed to know in regard to the Zika virus. I also think it was very important that it was a specific interventions (PRDOH&CZVP) made for pregnant women seeing as though how the virus could put at risk two people at one time if a pregnant woman were to contract it (Community Interventions ”CDC”, 2018).

    Current Initiatives

    I recently discovered two organizations that had been working to address the issue. The first organization is WHO (World Health Organization). WHO developed an integrated strategy to growing threats of diseases transmitted by mosquitos and other vectors. WHO put together a toolkit for the care and support of people affected by the virus and to also serve as a guide with the goal being to prepare others who have not been affected by the Zika virus outbreaks. The toolkit includes: insect repellent, condoms, mosquito bed net, and printed Zika education materials (Zika Virus, “WHO”). The second organization is NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases). NIAID is working with its partners in the government, academia, and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to understand the Zika virus, specifically the cause and ways to combat it. NIAID is accelerating its research in areas such as the national history of the disease and other basic research that they feel would be useful in helping fight and protect against the virus. Diagnostic is being discovered to determine if someone is or has been infected with Zika and to distinguish from other viruses as well as treatments and vaccines (Zika Virus, “NIAID”).

    Area of Focus

    While most cases of Zika are mild or asymptomatic the virus can on rare occasion lead to a serious complication known as Guillain-Barre syndrome. Guillain-Barre syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the peripheral nerves are damaged and cannot transmit signals efficiently. The disease progresses from the legs and on up the body maybe affecting the respiratory system, causing complete paralysis. The disorder is believed to be caused when a Zika infection lasts for more than week and is accompanied by a fever. When it comes to Guillain-Barre syndrome there isn’t any controversy because no one is able to explain what causes the disease the only thing people are worried about when it comes to this is treatment and recovery (Zika Virus, “Apha”). There aren’t really any disagreements when it comes to Guillain-Barre syndrome because researchers are still researching and finding out things in regards to this disease such as known causes of it they just know that the disorder usually appears days or weeks after a respiratory or digestive tract infection such as the Zika virus.


    In conclusion, I still have belief that many people are not aware or familiar with the Zika virus because major outbreaks ended years ago. There may now only be a few cases occasionally nothing extreme and as of now there is still no cure only treatments to relieve symptoms, so everyone is still advised to stay cautious and safe. Necessary precautions are still advised even though no recent cases have been brought about because as of now any one of any age, race, and gender can get this virus. I suggest additional research should be done when it comes to gathering information about the virus, along with information presented by health organizations and interventions specifically.


    1. Boskey, E (2019, July17). Causes and Risk Factors of the Zika virus. Retrieved from
    2. Influences of Community Interventions on Zika Prevention Behaviors of Pregnant Women, Puerto Rico, July 2016-2017 – Volume 24, Number 12-December 2018- Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal – CDC. (n.d.). Retrieved from eid/article/24/12/18-1056 article
    3. Rosenburg, S, E., Doyle, L, J., Klein, Adam, Sharp. (2018, December 13). Prevalence and Incidence of Zika Virus Infection Among Household Contacts If Patients with Zika Virus Disease, Puerto Rico, 2016-2017, Retrieved from https:// 220/6/932/5244593
    4. Symptoms. (2019, May 21). Retrieved from
    5. Zika Virus. (n.d.). Retrieved from disease/zika
    6. Zika Virus. (n.d.). Retrieved from
    7. (2019, July 10). Retrieved from

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