Massachusetts state health officials have announced the first confirmed case of the Zika virus. In addition, today, The World Health Organization issued an alert saying officials expected between an estimated 3 to 4 million infections in the US over a one-year period,
State Health officials say an infected resident is a man. He has not been identified and while it’s unknown which town in the state he is from, officials are saying he had recently traveled to an area where officials know Ziki is being transmitted. Brazil is considered the epicenter of Zika, and public health officials are investigating the suspected link between the virus and the rare condition that affects fetal brain development, as well as a possible association between the pathogen and, in adults, a syndrome is known as Guillain-Barrí© that can lead to paralysis
According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus (in the same family as yellow fever, dengue and West Nile viruses) previously found largely in Africa and Southeast Asia. The virus is transmitted through mosquitos. Symptoms and consists of mild fever, rash, headaches, arthralgia, myalgia, asthenia, and non-purulent conjunctivitis, occurring about two to seven days after the mosquito bite. Global health officials have been criticized for not moving quickly enough to call an emergency meeting on Zika. Some public health experts accused the WHO of failing to learn lessons from the Ebola epidemic of 2014 when the organization delayed sounding the alarm for months. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday that investigators may be able to start a clinical trial for a vaccine as early as this year. The dangers have been known for months. It is unclear as to why research was not started sooner in the U.S.