Category Archives: virus

Sexual Contact May Be Another Way The Zika Virus Is Spreading According To Brazilian Doctor Sergio Cortes

The Zika virus is making headline news. Brazil was the first country to report Zika virus news to the world even though the virus has been bouncing around the globe for more than five decades. Brazil’s top medical advisor, Sergio Cortes, has become an expert in identifying Zika symptoms, but being an expert doesn’t mean he knows why the virus is spreading as fast as it is. Dr. Cortes keeps people up-to-date on Zika news on his official website.
New information about the virus is pouring into research laboratories around the world. New cases of the virus keep coming in from unsuspecting countries. The latest countries to experience Zika cases are France and Slovakia. The virus has reached epidemic proportions in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico. The southern states of Mexico are reporting more cases, and the number of Zika cases in the United States continues to increase.
The World Health Organization had to issue a warning about the Zika virus because it is spreading so quickly. The virus is not always dangerous, but it can be. Pregnant women that are infected could deliver babies with microcephaly. Microcephaly causes brain damage. The World Health Organization is also warning people that they could develop a condition known as Guillain-Barré syndrome. That disease cause paralysis and in some cases death. Dr. Cortes believes the spike in newborn cases of microcephaly is directly related to the Zika virus. He tweets about microcephaly research and Zika virus transmission frequently.
One of the unanswered question right now is why is the virus spreading so quickly in areas where the Aedes aegypti mosquito is not breeding. Dr. Cortes addresses that question on his Facebook page. Cortes believes the virus is being spread by human contact. There is some evidence that 14 people in the United States were infected by sexual contact.
Researchers now know that the virus stays in the semen, urine and saliva of infected individuals longer than the physical symptoms, according to posts on the Cortes LinkedIn page. The virus has also been discovered in amniotic fluid, and in the brains of fetuses. It’s too early to concretely say that sexual contact is a transmission vehicle, or that the virus causes brain damage in infants, but there are reasons to believe that is the case.
If the Zika virus is spread by sexual or other human contact, the number of people that could be infected with the virus in the next six months is staggering. In the United States alone, the World Health Organization is predicting 4 million cases. Europe and Australia could produce another 8 million cases, but those figures are only estimates. The actual number of cases could be much higher, according to some health officials.

Cortes And His Relief Efforts In Brazil

Immediately after the floods that occurred in January, Sergio Cortes was out in Xerém to implement plans to prevent the spread of disease. Cortes is the state secretary of health and he is working with government officials in the town of Xerém to set up centers for re- hydration for those individuals that have suffered from dehydration because of a lack of drinkable water. These centers are able to help people that may need IV’s or other health aids. Extra did an article on Cortes to talk to him about his relief efforts.

Cortes has met with many individuals that have responsibilities that deal with the health and sanitation of the citizens in the town of Xerém. These individuals have all decided that measures need to be taken in order to prevent and stop any more serious diseases from occurring in Xerém. With that aim in mind, Cortes and other health officials put together health kits. They also distributed about 3000 antibiotic pills to help ward off diseases like leptospirosis. There are also many communicable disease that can be easily spread in times of floods; these diseases include the following: chickenpox, and Meningitis. Cortes is also worried about the spread of Dengue.

Drinkable water is also a big issue when it comes to public health after a flood. The water system is contaminated, so it is important for individuals to drink bottled water for their safety. Issues such as Hepatitis and Diarrhea can come about when individuals are exposed to contaminated drinking water. Bottled water needs to be used for all hygiene needs. Bottled water needs to be used for cooking as well. Cortes is also asking all of those individuals that are interested in donating to donate bottled water. Since dehydration and disease are a very big issue, bottled water is what is most needed in the city of Xerém. Cortes is also training a group of individuals that will be able to identify signs of disease. These individuals will be volunteers that will be able to help ailing individuals in times of disaster.