The World Health Organization announced Thursday that it will convene an emergency meeting to try to find ways to stop the transmission of the Zika virus which officials said is "spreading explosively" across the Americas. Health officials said 24 known countries and territories are affected by mosquitoes that are transmitting Zika locally.
How stay safe since we have no vaccine yet
IMPORTANT… You MUST use spray repellents to protect yourself against mosquitoes.
Sika rarely causes serious symptoms. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
According to the CDC, only about 1 in 5 people infected with the virus actually become sick with symptoms such as fever, rash, joint or muscle pain, headache and red eyes. The symptoms are usually mild and last just a week or less. This is dangerous because it can be spread easily at this stage..
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the United States has 31 confirmed cases in 11 states and the District of Columbia. All are travel-related, said Lyle Petersen, director of CDC’s vector-borne disease division, and "this number is increasing rapidly." At least one involves a pregnant woman, New York City officials said Thursday. There also are 20 additional cases because of local transmission in U.S. territories — 19 in Puerto Rico and one in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
"The level of alarm is extremely high, as is the level of uncertainty. We need to get some answers quickly, " Margaret Chan, director general of the WHO, said in Geneva during a briefing for member countries.
The WHO said the pathogen, which was virtually unheard of in the region a year ago, is spreading so fast that it could infect as many as 3 million to 4 million people within 12 months. Chan said those numbers and the severity of the possible complications being reported -- from a brain abnormality called microcephaly in children to paralysis in adults -- make the situation dramatically different than what epidemiologists have seen with past outbreaks of the virus.