Yet Despite The Progress Against Zika

About one year ago, the CDC issued a travel advisory cautioning people about going to the Caribbean and Brazil on account of the Zika virus. Many businesses in the Zika affected areas suffered business losses. Brazil and the Caribbean have booming tourism business that adds a great deal to the GDP. When the travel advisories were issued, the Zika free tourist attractions like Hawaii experienced booming business.

What has changed since the Zika Virus appeared in our headlines?

There has been a lull as far as Zika virus is concerned. But there is no reason to celebrate really because the virus is still very much alive and thriving. In close to 20 countries in South America and more than 30 sun laden Caribbean islands, the virus was really not eradicated. The main reason why there has not been much information lately about it is that it is winter and mosquitoes, the main carriers of the Zika virus, do not thrive in winter. In addition, other “more important” news like the election into white house of Donald Trump has left little room for the Zika virus. Remember, the election came a couple of months after the completion of the Olympic Games in Brazil, Zika-free as it would turn out.

However, as the campaigns and the elections were going on, more than 4000 cases of Zika virus were reported by the CDC. These cases were all recorded in the US, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands. This time around, according to Jonathan M. Tisch who is an associate dean of New York University’s Center for Hospitality and Tourism, the virus is scarier and faces a lot of stigma since many people do not know much about it and it is incurable. Tisch says that other mosquito-borne ailments do not carry as much stigma as this one.

Miami was able to arrest Zika virus and bring it under control

With Miami having gotten several cases of Zika virus sometime in the summer of 2016, it has been used as a case study. It has shown that this virus can be controlled and eventually eliminated. When the virus was first announced in the Miami Beach, the local authorities reacted proactively by engaging several measures to control the spread. Firstly, they educated the local people about the virus, followed by aerial and manual spraying. These concerted efforts would eventually lead to the elimination of the virus.

It can also be reported that Puerto Rico has admirably reduced the number of Zika virus cases. Other countries such as Chile, Uruguay, Bermuda and the state of Hawaii have never appeared in the list of the countries on which travel advisories were issued. This means there is hope and the best news yet is that the FDA says that there are many Zika vaccines in the trial phase.

Contrary to a story that the Washington Post ran late last year saying that Zika virus and microcephaly only coexisted in a small area in Brazil, scientists have agreed that Zika and microcephaly do carry a serious risk, together. Experts also say that if pregnant women are affected, they stand the risk of miscarrying.