You might have heard of the deadly Zika virus. First identified in Uganda in 1947, Zika is rapidly spreading across the world.
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus. In other words, it is caused by the bite of the yellow fever mosquito, known as Aedes aegypti. Zika virus can affect anyone, anytime. Common symptoms encompass skin rash, mild fever, headache, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain. Similar to other viruses, these symptoms can last for two to seven days.
But what makes Zika different from other types of viruses is due to a birth defect, microcephaly. According to the latest scientific reports, Zika virus is linked to microcephaly. Pregnant women with Zika have given birth to babies with microcephaly.
Microcephaly refers to babies with underdeveloped heads. These babies have abnormally small heads. As a result, they are likely to face intellectual disability issues. In severe cases, most babies don’t make it.
Although Zika is not directly contagious, it can still be fatal. As a matter of fact, the Centers for Disease Control has issued a warning for traveling to countries where the virus is active. Furthermore, the World Health Organization has declared Zika as an international public health emergency.
Zika in Brazil
According to a report issued by the NPR, doctors in Brazil have found an innovative solution for Zika. Brazilian doctors are making use of a telehealth program to treat babies with possible Zika-related issues. The telehealth program has been launched by Sandra Mattos, M.D., who is a pediatric cardiologist.
Brazil faces a host of daunting issues for dealing with Zika virus. Firstly, Brazil is an overpopulated region with poor healthcare facilities. Most of the people in remote areas don’t have access to healthcare professionals.
In this regard, telehealth has immense potential in Brazil. It can help address the regions’ healthcare needs, including Zika virus.
Mattos’s telemedicine plan reiterates what has been stated before about telehealth. It has the power to change the face of global healthcare. The use of modern telecommunication tools empowers both patients and doctors in different ways.
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Telehealth and Medicine Today aims to assist healthcare decision makers in launching sustainable telehealth services within clinically integrated healthcare systems.