Zika Virus: Epidemiological Analysis | Free Essay Example

Zika Virus: Epidemiological Analysis

Words: 825
Topic: Health & Medicine

History of the Condition

Zika virus (ZikaV) is the reason why the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently announced an international state of emergency (Nunes et al., 2016). The virus started in Brazil around 2014 spread all over the Northeast region and farther. Its main vector, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is reported to disseminate due to the high temperatures in the summer (Nunes et al., 2016). It could be said that a suggestion based on monitoring the virus in Northeastern Brazil implied that infection by ZikaV was connected with microcephaly (Nunes et al., 2016).

In support of the fact, the physicians observed the increase in the rates of children born with microcephaly after the virus entered Brazil. This notion has not been profoundly discovered yet, but it is one of the theories, which explains the nature of the virus.

Speaking of the spread and the history of the virus in Florida, the virus was not a primary reason for the occurrence of the significant number of deaths due to the obstacles of transferability (Monaghan et al., 2016). Nonetheless, the favorable climate and humidity levels in Florida upsurge the possibilities of the spread of the virus in these areas while being considered as one of the primary reasons for the development of pandemic (Monaghan et al., 2016). It could be stated that this matter underlines the paramount importance of designing efficient prevention strategies.

As for the functioning and the operating mechanism, the virus enters the central nervous system (CNS) and breaks through the blood-brain barrier (Nunes et al., 2016). Apart from insect bites, the virus can be transmitted via sexual contact, bodily fluids (blood, saliva, urine), and the absence of suitable medication (Nunes et al., 2016).

In this instance, pediatricians are the ones who need this infection investigated more than anybody does, as they deal with newborn children and determine whether or not they have microcephaly (Torjesen, 2016). Nonetheless, despite the importance of the issue to the health of the children, this topic lacks the research and scientific investigation while the rumors about the dangerous nature of the virus spread quickly.

Epidemiological Data

Epidemiological data connects the Zika virus with an enlarged number of microcephaly reports in Brazil (Nunes et al., 2016). However, this information is yet to be confirmed as there is a variety of viruses that might cause microcephaly. In this case, the statement “there is no consensus on the best curve to measure the cephalic circumference, specifically in preterm neonates” underlines the controversial nature of this aspect while depicting the microcephaly’s presence can be defined by a variety of other factors (Nunes et al., 2016, p. 230). This heterogeneous nature of the virus highlights the necessity in future research to determine the interdependence of the features of the virus with other aspects.

Nevertheless, some findings might support the theory about the highly transferable nature of the Zika virus and its correlation with microcephaly. For instance, the scientists from Brazil present the study that they were able to find the appearance of the Zika virus in the “amniotic fluid from two pregnant women” while the presence of microcephaly was detected in their fetuses (Clinical Pharmacist, 2016, para. 1).

Based on the factors provided above, the Zika virus can cross the placental barrier, which emphasizes its connection to microcephaly while increasing the necessity for the development of sufficient strategies and research. In the context of this text, the knowledge acquired via evidence-based practice adds clarity to the situation while depicting the existence of the connection with microcephaly.

Prevention Plan

It remains apparent that the factors provided above depict that the virus is highly dangerous due to its ability to be viewed as a threat to children and neonates. This aspect underlines that substantial attention has to be paid to the virus while including it into Healthy People 2020 goals to improve the wellbeing, health, and prosperity of the nation. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claim that no vaccine is still introduced while highlighting the avoidance of the mosquito bites as the only present prevention strategy (2016).

Wearing long-sleeved clothes, using repellent, and applying permethrin on clothing (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). It could be said that these approaches could be regarded as the most effective strategies while traveling to the spread of the virus.

As for Healthy People 2020, the initial aim of the program is to increase the prosperity of the nation while focusing on the improvement of the health of the population (Healthy People, 2016). In this case, it tends to eliminate the spread and the mutation of the disease while decreasing its epidemiological coverage. In the end, different programs have to be applied simultaneously to contribute to the rapid development of the vaccine to prevent the pandemic in the United States of America. However, currently, the civilians should not underestimate the paramount importance of the protection from the mosquito bites due to the possibility of infection.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Prevention. Web.

Clinical Pharmacist. (2016). Evidence shows Zika virus crosses placental barrierWeb.

Healthy People: 2020 topics and objectives. (2016). Web.

Monaghan, A., Morin, C., Steinhoff, D., Wilhelmi, O., Hayden, M., Quattrochi, D.,..Ernst, K. (2016). On the seasonal occurrence and abundance of the Zika virus vector mosquito Aeedes aegypti in the contiguous United States. Plos Current Outbreaks, 1. Web.

Nunes, M., Carlini, C., Marinowic, D., Neto, K., Fiori, H., Scotta, M., Zanella, P.,…, Costa, J. (2016). Microcephaly and Zika virus: A clinical and epidemiological analysis of the current outbreak in Brazil. Journal de Pediatria, 92(2), 230-240.

Torjesen, I. (2016). Zika virus outbreaks prompt warnings to pregnant women. British Medical Journal, 352. Web.