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Although Zika Cases Down, the Disease Likely Will Not Vanish

Zika Virus Washington DC

According to The Washington Post, just less than a year after the World Health Organization declared that the Zika virus is no longer a public health emergency, the widespread virus seems to have all but disappeared from public consciousness, at least outside heavily affected areas.

Last year at this time, people were in a frenzy as Aedes mosquitoes seemingly terrorized every region of the United States.

According to the WHO, Aedes is the same mosquito that transmits three other vector-borne diseases–dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever–across tropical and subtropical regions around the world.

While the ­mosquito-borne virus had people on high alert in 2015 and 2016 after a massive assault on the Western Hemisphere, 2017 has been a different story.

Even in nations that have been hit hard by the disease, numbers show a drop in locally acquired cases—meaning ones caused by bites from local and infected mosquitoes. For example:

  • Brazil had more than 216,000 probable cases in 2016; as of early September, the new cases for 2017 were around 15,500.
  • Colombia tallied more than 106,000 suspected and confirmed cases from 2015 to the end of 2016. This year, new cases have plummeted, with around 1,700 by mid-October.
  • Mexico went from about 8,500 confirmed cases in 2015 and 2016 combined to around 1,800 by early October of this year.

According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Zika numbers have also dropped in the United States and its territories with Puerto Rico’s Zika cases hitting nearly 35,000 in 2016.

Because Zika will surely not disappear altogether, it’s important to note all of the educational resources that exist.

If you’re travelling, you should know the Zika situation in that given area or region.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to find out more about the Zika virus.

Key facts

  • Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes.
  • People with Zika virus disease can have symptoms including mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
  • There is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Links to other neurological complications are also being investigated.

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