In a battled with Zika virus, Puerto Rico is giving local and U.S. health authorities a rare chance to better understand the disease as it makes its relentless march across America.
WEDNESDAY: As per latest reports from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Zika Virus is taking a solid drift towards the continental U.S.
An obstetrician-gynecologist and chief of a high-risk-pregnancy unit at the capital’s University Hospital, Dr. Alberto de la Vega has begun to identify its symptoms. In accord with his assessment, he has seen 22 weeks old fetus with brain damage alongside under-developed growth in ultra-sounds of several pregnant women within American territory.
“If you ask me in a month, we may have 10 times the detection rate.” – Dr. de la Vega
With his latest ongoing finding, he opts to look into more such cases in the upcoming days.
The health authorities determine that the virus has conquered the lush island for three consecutive quarters within six months’ time-span. They further believe for virus to spread during mosquito season at peak.
Nearly 1,350 pupils have been diagnosed to have Zika virus in their bodies — since the beginning of the epidemic here — comprising approximately 168 pregnant women. So far, one casualty has been reported. However, more harmful could be the cases with no evident symptoms.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads Zika teems here, flourishing in the steamy climate and dense neighborhoods. It invades the many homes lacking screens and air conditioning. It incubates in unsealed septic tanks, old tires and other places where stagnant water stands (source: Wall Street Journal).
UPDATE: On a related note, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 25% of Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million population to be infected with Zika by the end of this year.