The Zika virus, explained

CCTV News

Zika virus explainer

Zika virus explainer

Along with Zika, two other major viruses are spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito- dengue and chikungunya. All three diseases present flu like symptoms—fever, aches, pains. According to the World Health Organization, dengue kills about 22,000 people a year. Chikungunya is less deadly, generally killing only those who already have health issues. Zika appears linked to a birth defect called microcephaly--- babies born with unusually small heads. Fifty million people a year contract dengue and in the next year, three to four million are expected to contract Zika. The diseases are spreading quickly in the Americas, where few people have developed immunity to the viruses. A vaccine for dengue has recently been introduced. No cure or vaccine exists for chikungunya or Zika, so fighting these diseases means fighting the mosquitos – killing them with pesticides and eliminating their breeding grounds. CCTV America's Jim Spellman explains.

Here’s what you need to know about the mosquito-born virus associated with birth defects that the WHO recently dubbed an international public health emergency.

The mosquito

Zika is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the bug that also carries dengue, and chikungunya. All three diseases present flu like symptoms – fever, aches, pains.

Dengue, according to the World Health Organization, kills about 22,000 people a year.

Chikungunya is less deadly – generally, only those who already have health issues die from it. 

Birth defect

Zika appears to be linked to the birth defect microcephaly,  where babies are born with unusually small heads.

However, while experts strongly suspect there is a causal relationship between Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly, it hasn’t been scientifically proven. 

Where is it?

All three diseases are spreading quickly in the Americas, where few people have developed immunity to the viruses.

A vaccine for dengue has recently been introduced. But neither a cure nor vaccine exists for chikungunya or Zika, so fighting these diseases means preventing mosquito bites and fighting the bugs themselves – killing them with pesticides and eliminating their breeding grounds.

The WHO recommends regularly using insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants to cover as much of the body as possible, among other preventative measures

How big a problem is it?

While 50 million people a year contract dengue, over the next year 3 to 4 million are expected to contract Zika.

CCTV America’s Jim Spellman explains in our video, above.


Dr. Joel Selanikio on the Zika virus

CCTV America’s Susan Roberts interviewed Dr. Joel Selanikio. He’s the CEO and co-founder of Magpi, a leading provider of cloud-based mobile collection and communication applications.

Dr. Joel Selanikio on Zika virus

Dr. Joel Selanikio on Zika virus

It's the rally cry from Brazil's President, on wiping-out the spread of the mosquito-borne virus. A major 'day of action' is declared across the country to raise awareness about the disease. CCTV America's Susan Roberts interviewed Dr. Joel Selanikio. He's the CEO and Co-founder of Magpi, a leading provider of cloud-based mobile collection and communication applications.