Running head: ZIKA VIRUS 1Zika Virus: Epidemiology and Environmental Health Comprehensive Application ofEpidemiology CriteriaStudent’s Name University Affiliation Zika Virus: Epidemiology and Environmental Health Comprehensive Application ofEpidemiology CriteriaZika virus (ZIKV) has evolved as a significant public health concern globally. The increasing cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, congenital anomalies, and autoimmune and neurologic syndromes underscore the implications of ZIKV for public health. Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert on May 7, 2015 about the potential transmission of ZIKV in northeast Brazil (Musso, Cao-Lormeau, & Gubler, 2015). Nonetheless, nine member states in the Americas (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Suriname and Venezuela) confirmed the autochthonous transmission of ZIKV as of December 1, 2015 (Musso, 2015). The confirmation regarding the widespread of ZIKV indicates the possibility of this virus to spread globally, as was the case of chikungunya (CHIKV) and dengue (DENV) viruses (Cao-Lormeau et al., 2014).
ZIKA VIRUS2As such, it is imperative to develop innovative public health interventions to control and manage the possible spread ZIKV. Zika virus constitutes an emerging arbovirus (arthropodborne virus) related to DENV andCHIKV considering that they have similar transmission cycle and epidemiology. An infected mosquito from the Aedes genus (notably Aedes aegypti) found in tropical areas is responsible for the transmission of ZIKV. The same mosquito species also transmits CHIKV and DENV viruses,as well as yellow fever (Duffy et al., 2009). Epidemiologists believed that ZIKV causes only mild disease prior to the French Polynesian epidemic. ZIKV does not have specific clinical manifestations. According to Cao-Lormeau et al. (2014), the signs and symptoms of ZIKV are similar to those of other diseases, particularly DENV and CHIKV. However, countries that have experienced ZIKV outbreak have also reported severe neurological complications, especially Guillain-Barre syndrome. The relationship between ZIKV and neurological complications cannotbe discarded even though epidemiologists are yet to establish a causal effect (Musso, 2015). The increase in neurological symptoms is a particularly worrying concern for public health. For instance, Guillain-Barre syndrome was confirmed during the French Polynesia outbreak (Cao-Lormeau et al., 2014). In the same vein, Brazil has reported 76 neurological symptoms among patients with a history of ZIKV. Guillain-Barre syndrome accounted for 55% (42/76 cases) of these cases. Additionally, 62% of patients with Guillain-Barre syndrome (26/42)manifested symptoms consistent with ZIKV based on clinical history (Musso, 2015). Non-vectorborne transmission ZIKV is also increasingly evolving as a significant public health problem.