Yellow Fever and Zika virus

On Thursday, May 18th The World Health Organization declared an emergency meeting about the Yellow Fever outbreak in Angola, where there has been 293 deaths and 2,267 suspected cases. Other cases have been reported in Uganada and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

I read The American Plague: The untold story of Yellow Fever in High school and it was terrifying. Basically Yellow Fever makes your kidneys stop functioning, you vomit black and your skin turns yellow. 

When Cuban epidemiologist Carlos Finlay first proposed that mosquitos caused the virus, he was ridiculed and labeled as a crazy old man. Although there is still no cure, Max Theiler invented a vaccine in 1937. Hopefully WHO will be able to administer this vaccine fast enough to prevent farther outbreak.

In the U.S and U.S. Territories, the CDC reports that there are now nearly 300 cases of pregnant women with the Zika virus. The virus is spread by the Aedes species mosquito. It can also be spread through sexual contact and blood transfusions. 

Even though this breed of mosquitos is not know for traveling far, apparently health experts do not believe quarantine or restricting travel to Zika areas would combat spread of the disease. 

Usually I am not a big proponent of chemicals, but I would say that this summer is a good one for pesticides. Also do everything you can to prevent standing water. Epidemics are wack. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s