John D. Chovan, James R. Cacchillo
Zika virus, vector-borne disease, mosquitoes, microcephaly, infectious disease
Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing
The Zika virus (Zika) was first discovered in 1947 in Uganda, with only 14 cases documented before 2007 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). Over the last two years, however, this virus, formerly confined to the tropical regions of Africa and South East Asia, has been reported in South and Central America, Mexico, parts of the Caribbean, Polynesia, with the reports continuing to grow. In February, 2016, the World Health Organization reported that Zika has been elevated to a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The spread of Zika is alarming because it has been associated with severe fetal brain defects, Guillian-Barre syndrome (GBS) and encephalopathy. Transmission is primarily through the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitos and may also be spread by sexual contact. Further, many of those infected show no signs or symptoms, making accidental spread possible. As of this date, there is no vaccine or treatment (CDC, 2016). This topic is significant because it underlines the importance of awareness and prevention for those that may be at risk of contracting or spreading Zika. It is very important that health care workers are educated on the disease process and nursing implications of this potentially devastating virus.
Ambrose-Young, Anne, "Zika Virus" (2016). Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student Scholarship. 151.