NEJM-The Zika Challenge
There are many viruses that have similar characteristics to dengue, yellow fever, and Zika that have the potential to emerge. We don’t know why Zika emerged now. But we know how to develop surveillance systems that will allow us to pick these viruses up if they start to move as Zika has.” This starting point was outlined by tropical medicine expert Duane Gubler at a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting in Geneva in early March. Gubler has spent his career studying tropical infectious diseases with an emphasis on dengue virus (DENV), a flavivirus closely related to Zika virus (ZIKV).1 His introductory presentation at the international meeting about the ZIKV challenge emphasized the complexity of the flavivirus–host relationship and the inevitability, thanks to urbanization and globalization, of emergence and spread of viruses that were previously confined to small, remote geographic areas.
To prevent and control ZIKV infection in humans, we must understand the virus and its vectors, the modes of transmission between mosquitoes and vertebrates and among humans, and the natural history of ZIKV disease. The main challenge today is that most of this knowledge is lacking. Of the 313 articles on Zika identified by a recent PubMed search, only 25 were published between 1952, when the virus was discovered, and 2009, when the first outbreak outside Africa and Asia was reported in the Journal2; 225 were published in 2016.
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Take care on where you travel. Look at the list of contries with active Zika. The Rio Olympics are left with a big issue. The Americans will not play because of the odds of getting Zika.
Good health to you a family.
Categories: Moving Forward