Outbreak and Responses.
Outbreak and Responses
Zika virus is the causative agent of Zika virus diseases, commonly known as Zika fever (World Health Organization, 2016). This disease is transmitted by local mosquito-borne and if no protective measures are initiated the disease can result in an outbreak. Such an outbreak recently occurred in various counties of Florida such as Miami-Dade and Broward between January and June this year, whereby both residents and visitors were being affected (Likos, et al., 2016). Other than mosquito bites, Zika virus can also be transmitted through sexual contacts (World Health Organization, 2016). However, mosquito bites seem to be a more prevalent agent of transmission as it was noted in the resulting evidence by State health departments. When spraying and eliminating stagnant water was adopted as disease control strategy, no more infection cases were reported. The specific mosquito species associated with this disease are Ae. aegypti and Ae. Albopictus (Likos, et al., 2016).
There were no identifiable differences between people infected with Zika virus and those without. This is because according to the report findings the number of people infected with the disease was more than what was recorded. This was contributed by the fact that most people were asymptomatic and therefore could not seek medical attention (Likos, et al., 2016). The only identifiable symptoms such as rashes and fever were very common to bring out the difference. Zika virus outbreak was first identified early in July when two cases of employees working in the same geographical zone were noted. Later, almost thirty cases of infections were reported in the same region prompting the Florida Department of Health to consider it as an outbreak (Likos, et al., 2016). Since residential areas of both patients were far apart, no epidemiological relation was found to determine the mode of infection. But through progressive assessment, one person was found to have recently traveled from Haiti to Florida and the disease was finally considered as infectious.
Immediately the first case of Zika virus infection was noted, Serum and urine samples were taken from both patients and after comparison the Florida Department of Health Protocol confirmed this infection by rRT-PCR from these specimen (Likos, et al., 2016). RRT-PCR was important in detecting RNA component of these viruses. After obtaining a positive PCR test which simply indicates the presence of the virus, definite diagnoses was provided. This method of diagnosis did not require any phlebotomists to conduct blood testing since the analysis gave direct results (Licos, et al., 2016). In addition, there are very few laboratory equipment required to carry out this treatment and as a result, the overall cost, as well as investigation skills, are greatly minimized.
Once the outbreak was confirmed, numerous protective measures were employed in efforts to manage the outbreak. Some of these measures included spraying whereby aerial adulticiding and larvisiding neutralizing antibodies were used (Licos, et al., 2016). This method was found to be the most effective because after its implementation cases of Zika virus infection were very limited. In addition, people were barred from either having physical or sexual contact with residents from infected regions. One advantage of this method is that the outbreak had occurred in specific regions so it was possible to control infections through public awareness. The public also took up the war against the spread of this virus by helping to drain any stagnant water where mosquito larvae could easily develop (Licos, et al., 2016).
Since epidemiology is a study that deals with distribution and control of diseases as well as other health related issues, this outbreak which occurred in Florida counties is directly related to this aspect (World Health Organization, 2016). This is because there is a clear illustration of how the diseases originated, how it spread and measures of disease control are outlined. Although bites from mosquito species such as Ae. Aegypti and Ae. albopictus have been proved to be the causative agents of Zika virus disease, there are other methods of transmission such as sexual contact and therefore more research should be conducted to determine their implications.
Likos, A., et al. (2016). Local Mosquito-Borne Transmission of Zika Virus — Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, Florida, June–August 2016. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 65(38), 1032-1038.
World Health Organization. (2016). Zika Virus. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/
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