After being reported as spreading fast in the Asia Pacific, parts of Africa and the Americas, global concerns on the Zika virus were heightened, particularly on infected regions hosting international events including the 2016 Olympic games in Rio. Meanwhile, the United States is now all-in for the development of a Zika vaccine.
The threats arising from Zika virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes have increased to greater heights as cases continue to rise around the globe. In the previous report of Nature Times, the disease that causes microcephaly or the incomplete brain development resulting in a significantly small head in infants was first identified in Uganda in 1947 until it resurfaced as a fast-spreading virus in the Micronesian Island of Yap in 2006. Known to have no particular medicine for treatment, the virus spread quickly in South America until cases also started to rise in the United States causing wide-scale concerns.
In Brazil, its health minister mentioned that the virus will spread less likely during the games since it will take place in the drier month of August. However, Olympic organizers and local officials still increased their efforts in combatting the outbreak before the start of the 2016 Olympic games in Rio.
Continuous fumigation and daily sweeps will be conducted prior and during the games. In addition to that, inspections of facilities for the Olympic games will also be done in order to assure that mosquito grounds will not be present in the venues.
In the United States, the constant increase in the number of reported cases led to an all-in approach of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the development of a vaccine. 'I've made it clear that we want to put a full-court press,' Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview with the Times. 'I'm saying, 'Folks, this is it, all hands on deck for Zika, this is really important.' We are rapidly pushing,' he added. While there is no certainty that the spread of the virus will stop immediately upon the deployment of the vaccine, Dr. Fauci asserted that efforts should be made now in order to prevent further damages.