Zika Virus Outbreak in South Korea
An infectee of Zika Virus has been found in South Korea for the first time. A 43 year old man traveled to Brazil on a business trip for a month and returned to his home country on March 11th. A week later, the man showed symptoms of high fever, muscle pain, and allergic reactions. He visited a nearby hospital twice, and was categorized as a potential infectee. Later on, the ministry of health and welfare concluded that he was infected by the Zika Virus.
The Zika Virus was first discovered in 1947 in Uganda, among a group of monkeys, and has recently gained a lot of attention nowadays as it is seen as the major cause of microcephaly, or in other words, an abnormally small growth of the human brain. Therefore, the virus is especially seen as a potential threat to women in the state of pregnancy, as it may result in babies with microcephaly.
The main cause of Zika Virus is the exposure to several insect species such as the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) or the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). It usually accompanies high fever and an allergy reaction. Trip to regions such as the Caribbean Sea or South America, where the virus is wide spread, is not recommended. In order to avoid infections from mosquitoes, the use of pesticides and mosquito nets are highly recommended.
There have been critical remarks about the fact that the doctor simply diagnosed the man as having flu at the first time, and this incident has proven the need for improvements in the Korean medical department. If the virus had not been detected earlier, then it may have resulted in a serious emergency situation. The man is currently in the stage of recovery, but considering the possibility that he may have spread his virus to nearby people, South Korea cannot be declared as a totally safe country.
Although the virus does not spread through air, it can be spread through sexual relationships. However, in terms of privacy, the occurrence of any sexual relationship between the infected and his wife cannot be easily investigated or be open to the public, so it has become an unexpected obstacle for research.
Currently, the government has decided to wait before making impetuous decisions, and is constantly conducting campaigns to raise awareness within citizens. For now, the situation seems to be under control.
2016. 3. 22