Zika Virus

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Description of the Disease

According to CDC (2018), Zika Virus refers to one of the viruses that belong to the Flavivirus class of viruses. The virus first identified in monkeys living in Uganda’s Zika Forest in 1947. The first case of Zika Virus in human beings was identified in the year 1952 in Uganda and Tanzania. The virus is transferred to human beings through mosquitos. Since then, the outbreak of Zika virus has been recorded in other countries I Africa, Asia, and America including Brazil and the US. Ti causes mild to life-threatening illnesses, for example, it causes moderate to severe microcephaly as was recorded in Brazil in the year 2015.

Agent Characteristics

The key agent of this diseases is Zika Virus, which belongs to the flavivirus genera that is hosted in wild primates and human beings. The vector of the Zika virus is mosquito Aedes that spreads the diseases from monkeys to humans through mosquito bites (WHO, 2016). The most common way through which Zika virus spread is through Aedes Aegyoti Mosquito that is found in the tropical regions.

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Environmental Characteristics

Environmental factors are key to the spread of Zika virus. According to Petersen et al. (2016), the key agent in the transmission of the virus; Aedes Aegyoti Mosquito, which survives in warm climatic conditions of coastal equatorial climates. The initial (larva) stages of growth of this mosquito take place in shallow stagnant waters such as dams, and therefore, after rainfall in tropical areas, there is an increase in Aedes Aegyoti Mosquitos, and hence, an increase in the spread of Zika Virus.

The spread of Zika virus is also rampant in unclean environmental conditions such as slum areas. According to a research study that was carried out by Fuller et al. (2017), it was established that the spread of Zika virus was high in the unhygienic areas of Rio de Janeiro. The lack of access to proper sanitation, clean waters, and appropriate waste dumping facilities promote the spread of this virus since the unhygienic conditions promote the multiplication of Aedes aegypti larvae, and this contributes to an increase in vector abundance due to the increase in the density of mosquitos.

Signs and Symptoms of Zika Virus

According to Fuller et al. (2017), some of the victims of Zika virus may not get sick; however, the majority of those who are infected with the virus will exhibit the signs and symptoms of the diseases as follows:

  • Rashes on the skin
  • Fever
  • Mild or severe pain in the joints and body muscles
  • A mild or a severe headache
  • Malaise
  • Itching sensation in different parts of the body
  • Swelling of some body parts, especially on the joints
  • Red eyes (conjunctivitis)


According to Petersen et al. (2016), there is still no treatment for Zika virus; however, after the diagnosis of a patient with the disease through a lab test of saliva, urine or semen, can manage the disease by consuming a lot of fluids and taking sufficient rest. Second, fever of pain in the muscles of the body can be treated with medication using common painkillers.

How I Would Educate the Public About This Disease

To educate the members of my community about this disease, I would organize health care campaign to create awareness of this virus. In this campaign, I would inform the community members of the causative agents and transmission of the disease. I would also educate them on the signs and symptoms, risks, and preventive methods of the virus. The campaigns would include short commercials on the radio and newspapers. It would also include short seminar sessions with patients, especially pregnant women at the healthcare facility that I will be working.

1. CDC. (2018, June 6). Zika Virus. Retrieved from, https://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html

2. Fuller, T., Calvet, G. A., Estevam, C. G., Brasil, P., Angelo, J. R., Smith, T. B., & Bispo Di Filippis, A. M. (2017). Environmental and Climatic Risk Factors for Zika and Chikungunya Virus Infections in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015–2016. Open Forum Infectious Diseases, 4(Suppl 1), S56. http://doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofx162.131

3. Petersen, L. R., Jamieson, D. J., Powers, A. M., & Honein, M. A. (2016). Zika Virus. The New England Journal of Medicine, 374(16), 1552-1563.

4. WHO. (2016, February 6). Zika Virus. Retrieved from, http://www.who.int/news-room/fact- sheets/detail/zika-virus

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