zikaZika Virus Mosquito//commons.wikimedia.org
By: Katherine Canillas, Staff Writer

Since the widespread epidemic outbreak of Zika fever on April 2015, it is still one of the most controversial subjects to date. The disease was discovered in Uganda, there has not been any local mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases that reported in the United States. However, the reason why the U.S. is being affected are the cases that are travel-associated.

The Zika virus is spread by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes such as A. aegypti and A. albopictus, found in tropical and subtropical zones. The name is based on the place of its discovery in the Zika Forrest in Uganda back in 1947.

Although today getting the disease may affect citizens quite mildly in their health that include symptoms such as red eyes, fever, and rash, it poses a threat toward women who are pregnant.

“The [World Health Organization] and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have urged pregnant women against travel to more than 45 countries in which the Zika virus is spreading, mostly in the Caribbean and Latin America,According to The New York Times.

If the virus spreads to women who are pregnant it can cause a defect to their child called Microcephaly; being born with undersized skulls and brains, to which will affect their brain development.

Cases like Zika can be easily compared to other national epidemic outbreaks that the media has heavily poured on us for the sake of its sensationalism.

Back in 2009, we may recall the media outbreak on the Swine Flu, a human respiratory infection caused by an influenza H1N1 strain that started in pigs, that only in that year reports of 56 cases, and 55 confirmed deaths  nationwide.

Schools enforced consensual vaccinations with students and the news made sure media covered the seriousness 24/7. The Swine flu turned out to be like any other flu that is merely harmless considering it was not deadly, but pandemic.

“Brazil has the largest outbreak of Zika today… as many as 1.5 million Brazilians may be infected” According to the wall Street Journal.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that there have been 2,487 travel-associated reports in the U.S. and 29 locally acquired mosquito-borne cases reported within the 20 months.

The U.S. should not be afraid because although this infection is not contagious and is not spreading in an exponential rate here, but can be transmitted during sexual intercourse, we should be a bit vigilant of the fact that in countries that the disease is native to are impacting women who are expecting and their child, and also precautious traveling cognitive of the risk.