The rise of Zika can be traced back to inadequate environmental factors affected by poverty
Mosquitoes are attracted to areas with open water and it’s been suggested that areas of poverty are more susceptible to attracting the virus. The Guardian has referred to Zika as “the disease of poverty”. Areas within the America’s are experiencing contaminated water, malnutrition, packed population, and unsanitary environmental conditions.
The Washington post reported on what conditions the virus thrives in. According to the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, mosquito habitats are created in regions that consist of “environmental degradation”. Human actions can be influential to the spreading of the virus based on the things we do that impact the environment. That includes but are not limited to urbanization and significant growth of waste, building dams to create reservoirs, deforestation, etc.These things create perfect conditions for disease infected mosquitoes to manifest and continue the spread of the virus.
Zika has been around for many years but we are now worried that it will spread into the United States
Research shows that the virus was first discovered in 1948 within the Zika forest of Uganda in an Aedes mosquito. The virus has a history of spreading continent to continent. In 2007, the travel of the virus caused the first human outbreak in Asia. The Bulletin of the World Health Organization research shows that more than 20 countries in north, south, and central America have revealed cases of infection.
|Source: The Chicago Tribune|
Zika has caused many cases of birth defects in newborn babies due to women being infected during pregnancies
Research done by the CDC in collaboration with Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation shows that Zika not only causes birth defects in newborn babies but can also cause damage to the central nervous systems in fetuses and adults. A study from the New England Journal of Medicine tests the manifestations of Zika within pregnant women within the northeast region of Brazil.
It's unfortunate for those women who live in these environments. But, the best preventative measure for women who plan to get pregnant or who are already pregnant is to avoid travel to infected areas.