Peru declares Zika emergency across northern half of the country
Peru has declared Zika outbreak as a health emergency across the northern half of the country after 102 people were infected with the virus.
The 90-day health emergency was declared to prevent the spread of the disease. So far 34 cases of disease (principally transmitted by mosquitos) were detected in pregnant women.
A major Zika outbreak in Peru’s neighbouring country Brazil has caused nearly 1,600 birht of babies with the birth defect due to microcephaly i.e. abnormally small heads and brains.
In adults and children the disease usually causes only mild, flu-like symptoms and a rash. But it has been linked to neurological problems such as a potentially fatal paralysis known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS).
About Zika virus
- Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes which also also transmit 3 other vector-borne diseases Chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever.
- The virus belongs to family Flaviviridae and Genus Flavivirus. It was first identified in 1947 in Uganda and its name has been derived from Zika Forest.
- There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available to treat Zika disease. The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites and clearing stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.