Management of the ongoing Spread of Zika Virus in the Country and Prevention of Spread following the Olympic Games of 2016

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To: Minister of Health in Brazil

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Re: Management of the ongoing Spread of Zika Virus in the Country and Prevention of Spread following the Olympic Games of 2016

BACKGROUND

Zika virus is a tropical infection that is known to be related to the dongue fever. Its vector is the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, an aggressive breed that resides within the western tropical hemisphere. The outbreak of the Zika Virus disease has occurred mostly in the Americas. It has currently managed to spread through 29 countries, and health experts estimate the by 2017 between three and 4 million people will be infected (LaMotte). It was first noticed in Brazil early 2015 and has been spreading ever since. The World Health Organization has estimated that the virus is likely to continue spreading for the rest of the year. The Zika virus is dangerous because unlike other similar strain such as the dengue fever, there exist no vaccine for prevention. In addition, there is no cure to treat this disease in case of an infection. The disease results in neurological complications especially among newborns (Dyer). It can result in babies being born with symptoms similar to microcephaly, where a baby’s head becomes much smaller than the average size (Vogel). This may in turn result in severe developmental complications or even death. The Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro may result in increased risks of not only visitors but also spread throughout the rest of the world. As such, it is crucial for the Ministry of Health to embark on carrying out strict control measures to mitigate the effects of the disease.

POLICY OPTIONS

  • Issuing travel advisories to areas most affected by the virus.

Advantages: The issuing of travel advisories will allow the Ministry of Health and other involved organizations to enhance their preventive measures. They will be able to identify the worst hit areas and develop a monitoring system that allows people to avoid further spread to others areas.

Disadvantages: With the Olympic Games, drawing near, major disruptions and cancelling of games will result.

  • Engaging in creating awareness of the Zika virus countrywide

Advantages: Since the virus does not have a vaccine or cure, creation of awareness will enhance individual preventive measures. The Ministry of Health could engage in public health awareness programs that inform people on how best to avoid risk factors that may lead to infection.

Disadvantages: There exist no effective known procedures of zika virus prevention. There may also exist language barriers for travelers since the Olympic Games will attract foreigners from almost all parts of the world.

RECOMMENDATION

The most pressing need is to identify individuals that have already contracted the disease. In order to avoid further spread, it is important to employ measures designed to separate the sick from the uninfected in order to avoid spread. All citizens must be informed of the primary symptoms of the Zika virus, such as fever, joint pain, red eyes, or skin rash (Nursing Standard 17). They must be informed to seek medical attention with the utmost instances for confirmation. In order to manage the disease during the Olympic Games, it is important for the government to take stringent measures to avoid travelers from contracting the disease. In the unfortunate event of travelers contracting the disease while in the country, it is crucial for the Ministry of Health to employ measures to manage the disease.

 

 

Works cited

“Zika Virus”. Nursing Standard 30.24 (2016): 17-17. Print

Dyer, Owen. “Zika Virus Spreads Across Americas As Concerns Mount Over Birth Defects.” BMJ (2015): h6983. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.

LaMotte, Sandee. “Zika Virus: 5 Things You Need To Know – CNN.Com.” CNN. N.P., 2016. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.

Vogel, Gretchen. “Zika Virus Discovered In Infant Brains Bolsters Link To Microcephaly.” Science (2016): n.p. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.

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