Zika, Dengue Fever and Chikungunya
The fight against the Aedes Aegypti mosquito is not new. But it is in the spotlight now that Zika has joined the list of viruses this mosquito carries.
This insect is an old enemy of mankind. In the past, it was responsible for decimating mankind with yellow fever, but the mosquito was mostly eradicated in the early 20th century . In the 1980s, it returned, bringing with it, a surge in dengue fever and 30 years later, the chikungunya virus. And now ... Zika
In 2015, cases of Zika were reported but no alarm raised, as the symptoms are less aggressive than dengue. One year later, the virus is linked to Guillian-Barré, a rare syndrome that causes weakness and muscle paralysis, and microcephaly (abnormal small head and brain) in babies whose mothers contracted the Zika virus during pregnancy.
The mosquito-borne Zika virus usually causes mild symptoms in adults, with a low fever, headaches and joint pain. Its spread has caused alarm due to a link to microcephaly, which deforms the brains of unborn babies, and Guillain-Barre, a rare condition in which the body's immune system attacks a part of the nervous system that controls muscle strength.
So far South America has been hardest hit by the Zika outbreak, with some 1.5 million people infected and 745 confirmed cases of microcephaly in children born to women infected while pregnant.
Zika is spreading quickly in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Local mosquito transmission of Zika virus infection has been reported in both countries . Local mosquito transmission means that mosquitoes in that area are infected with Zika virus and are spreading it to people. There is currently no vaccine or treatment for Zika.
The World Health Organization now believes that the mosquitoes that spread the Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya virus will eventually make their way to all countries of the Western Hemisphere.
The WHO is set to convene a meeting to determine if new methods can be safely used against the mosquitos carrying Zika. Methods include releasing sterilized male mosquitos to halt reproduction, or infecting mosquitos with a bacteria that prevents their eggs from hatching .
AmeriHand is trying to protect vulnerable pregnant women and children during the Zika outbreak.
One of our main goals is education. The same system we use to inform and educate about cholera prevention will be used to reach out to pregnant women with information and educational materials on Zika. We will also be making mosquito nets and repellent contain DEET available to those in danger. We will be working diligently to protect pregnant women from the zika virus during this outbreak.
Until there is massive mosquito eradication , AmeriHand will be trying to provide mosquito nets for every pregnant woman in the Dominican Republic and Haiti as well as educating the public on methods to avoid mosquito bites and eliminating stagnant water to stop breeding.
Dengue fever is a very serious viral infection caused by the bite of female Aedes mosquitoes that also transmits zika and chikungunya.
Victims experience sudden high fever, headache, weakness, and intense muscle, joint, and low back pain (hence the name "break bone fever") within 3 to 7 days. A subtle rash appears in up to half the people affected. The elderly and young children are at higher risk for death in serious cases. Treatment is purely supportive. There is no known cure and treatment is usually limited to over the counter pain reliever.
In 2015 health officials in the Dominican Republic issued an alert as the number of dengue fever deaths reached record numbers..
The Ministry of Health says there was more than 17,220 cases of dengue fever in 2015. 4,800 more than the previous year. In Haiti no official dengue fever statistics are available because the health care infrastructure is in shambles, but the disease is prevelant.
Dengue cases usually flare up from August to January. The mosquito-borne virus causes fever, severe headaches and extreme joint and muscle pain and death in 5% to 10% of the cases.
The incubation period of the chikungunya virus ranges from one to twelve days, and is most typically three to seven. More than 75% of those infected will develop symptoms. Characteristic symptoms include sudden onset with high fever, joint pain, and rash. Other symptoms may occur, including headache, fatigue, digestive complaints, and conjunctivitis.
Typically chikungunya begins with a sudden high fever that lasts from a few days to a week, and sometimes up to ten days. The fever is usually 102 ° to 104 ° and may last several days, break, and then return. The level of virus in the blood correlates with the intensity of symptoms. However, headache, insomnia and an extreme degree of exhaustion remain, usually about five to seven days.
Following the fever, strong joint pain or stiffness occurs; it lasts weeks or months, but may last for years. The joint pain can be debilitating, often resulting in near immobility of the affected joints. In some areas, Chikungunya is called the zombie virus because those affected look like zombies when they attempt to walk , because they are unable to bend their arms or legs from the intense joint pain.
There are elderly people who have to live out their remaining years in constant agony because of chikungunya. Please help us get information and mosquito repellent to these people. You may be literally saving someone from a life of agonizing pain.
Joint pain is reported in 95% of cases, and nearly always occurs in more than one joint. Typically the affected joints are located in both arms and legs, and are affected symmetrically. The pain can be excruciating and is most common in peripheral joints, such as the wrists, ankles, hands and feet as well as the larger joints of the shoulders, elbows and knees.
Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya are extremely serious mosquito borne diseases that can be easily prevented
Please help us to bring Education and medical supplies to rural areas where the people have no access to any government health care infrastructure.