Puerto Rico is becoming yet another breeding ground for the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the species that is spreading the Zika virus through South, Central and North America, according to Brazil’s premier medical doctor, Sergio Cortes. Dr. Sergio Cortes has been involved with Zika virus cases for the last 11 months.
When the first cases of Zika were reported in the Northeastern state Paraiba, Cortes had no idea how quickly the virus would spread. He also didn’t know about the potential complication of the Zika virus. But he does now. He constantly posts updates about the virus on his website.
More than 46 countries have reported cases of the Zika virus. South America has the largest number of cases, and that makes sense given the fact it’s summer in that hemisphere. But the Caribbean Islands and Puerto Rico are hot all year long and perfect breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The number of cases of Zika in that area of the world are increasing by the minute, according to a tweet by Dr. Cortes.
The World Health Organization recently put out a report that warned the people of Puerto Rico that one person in five people will be infected with the virus before the outbreak ends. About 80 percent of those people will experience a rash, muscle pain, and fever, but the other 20 percent may not know they have the virus. Along with the mild symptoms, pregnant women are at risk of developing microcephaly. Microcephaly is the condition that creates fetus brain damage. On his LinkedIn page, Dr. Cortes also mentioned the threat of Guillain-Barré syndrome that French researchers say if one of the by-products of the virus.
There are 117 confirmed cases of Zika in Puerto Rico, but as many as 600,000 people will be infected in the coming months. Dr. Cortes continues to post articles about the Zika virus side effects on his Facebook page. Cortes thinks this latest outbreak of Zika in Puerto Rico will increase the number of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome cases on the Island.
The United States is the next big Zika virus outbreak victim, according to the World Health Organization. People that live on the mainland travel to Puerto Rico on a daily basis, and there is reason to believe that Zika can be spread by human contact.
A World Health Organization report warns countries around the world that there isn’t a vaccine that will stop the spread of the virus. Researchers are working on a virus, but developing an effective vaccine could take years. Most new vaccines are tested and then tested, and then retested before they are made available to the public, according to Dr. Cortes.
You can follow him on LinkedIn.