Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stated that “there is no public health reason to cancel or delay the Olympics.”

Brazil is undergoing a Zika outbreak, a disease transmitted through the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Although athletes and corresponding delegations are not completely safe from the virus, Frieden argues that the risk is not significant, unless the person is pregnant.

Zika is not a reason to cancel Brazil's Olympic Games
The CDC stated that ‘there is no public health reason to cancel or delay the Olympics.’ Credit: Vox

Zika’s cure is none other than resting for a couple of weeks. The organism becomes immune after the first infection, but the virus can cause microcephaly in newborn babies if the mother becomes infected while pregnant.

Zika at the Olympics

Public health specialists have come to the realization that Zika causes other ailments such as the Guillain-Barre syndrome, producing paralysis episodes on the victim. The link between Zika and child microcephaly was confirmed as there are over 1,400 iterations of the condition, only in Brazil.

Although one may believe that Zika infection cases will increase due to the development of the Olympics, Dr. Frieden says that the total amount of travel towards areas that are dealing with the disease only represents one percent of all possible travel-related transmission scenarios.

He also stressed the need for fighting Zika in the U.S. This is because summer is approaching, providing the perfect climate for the Aedes aegypti mosquito to reproduce. Zika transmits through the mosquito’s bite and sexual contact. Its common symptoms are severe rashes throughout the body, joint pain, fever, and red eyes.

Dr. Frieden joined President Obama in asking the Congress for funds to establish an effective campaign against the disease. Puerto Rico is one of the most vulnerable areas when it comes to Zika outbreaks.

The most vulnerable states are those with warm and humid climate, such as Florida and Texas. But recently, the fifth case of Zika was confirmed in Arkansas by its Department of Health. It appears that the infection occurred abroad for all of the five cases from within the state.

The Aedes mosquito is most likely to grow in stagnant water. Pet food dishes, backyards, boats, and buckets are some of the best places for mosquitoes to put their eggs and reproduce. Experts recommend people to dispose of stagnant water containers and to have pesticides at hand.

It is even possible that without nearby stagnant water, pesticides would not be needed at all, but it always comes in handy as an added insurance. Experts from the Hudson County Mosquito Control of New Jersey say that it is best to dispose of stagnant water because “in the water, they’re captive. You know where they are.”

A person suspecting a Zika infection must restrain from having sex and then visit a doctor as soon as possible. This is true now more than ever, as an increase in the appearance of Aedes aegypti is expected to increase substantially in the U.S. in the following months.

Source: Daily Times