As far back as history dates, various studies present that viruses have existed for billions of years, and with the lack of historical footprint it is difficult to complete a definite timeline. However, it was not until 1886 when discovery of disease transfer was discovered, and in 1892 the first virus was considered discovered by Dmitri Ivanovsky. As technology innovations advance, the study of viruses further refines hypotheses and understandings to better serve for not only our local society, but the entire world. Yet, even with a growing understanding of the virus, some existing viruses are not only impacting our world in a negative manner, but still hold many secrets for the possible progression toward an antibiotic. In example, the Zika virus is an existing virus that impacts the world and the world still holds questions about this virus. In order to slow down the rate of spreading, or even fully prevent the virus from multiplying, the state of Georgia must not only increase the public knowledge of the virus’s potential harm, but implement methods of mitigating and monitoring the spread of the virus into, from and within the state.
In 1947, discovered by Alexander John Haddow, the Zika virus was revealed present in a Sentinel Rehesus monkey captured from the Zika forest of Uganda when completing a routine examination of yellow fever. Even though discovered, the virus was not detected in humans until five years later in 1952 in regions of Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Spread via a certain type of mosquito known as the Aedes Aegypti the virus was initially considered fairly harmless with side effects including fever, rash, red eyes, headaches, and possibly joint pain. Interestingly, while symptoms of the virus do exist, over eighty percent showed no symptoms at all. The symptoms were notated to last less than a week and most patients did not recognize that the symptoms were the result of the virus. Due to these non-critical it was originally thought that a steady relationship existed between the mosquito, the virus, and the human. However, this changed when the first documented large outbreak of the virus occurred in 2007 and later a tremendous increase of babies born with defects impacted by the virus in 2015.
With the rise of cases and the further development of technology, research of the increased spread of the Zika virus was given more supporting evidence to work with. Also, because the Zika virus can be transmitted sexually in some cases, and there is a possibility of the mosquito using the human body or belongings as a means of travel it is important to track traveling patterns of those going in and out of the state. Over a time span of 1 year, millions of flights occur from the United States to around the world. 741 million flights occurred alone in 2017 to be exact, and of these flights 44 million flights documented to be from the Atlanta airport. Firstly, it is important that the residence of Georgia are formally educated on individual safety and necessary precautions needed to be taken to protect themselves prior to leaving the state and flying either domestically or internationally. Even if no flights occur, all residence need to be educated on this virus, in order to raise awareness. Awareness training should occur for the general public so that all residence of Georgia are aware of the symptoms and methods to follow in order to avoid and prevent the virus. Educating students and hospital faculty will not be difficult since they are located at sites that allows training to be completed for a large number of people at one given time. However, there are those who are not in general public settings. For these cases, it is recommended to set-up stations at local grocery stores and hand out brochures to its shoppers. Taking it a step further, these brochures are to be mailed out to all the residence residing within the Georgia borders. The brochure are to explain the proper attire to wear, bug spray to use, and items such as not leaving standing water around as this is ground for mosquito breeding.
Awareness is far more crucial for those flying internationally to areas known to transmit the Zika virus. If flying to Zika-ridden areas, an alert should be placed on that individual’s ticket to undergo a brief training course on the virus and how to protect one’s self and tested for the virus prior to leave. Those who have an alert placed on their ticket are individuals who have traveled or will travel internationally in the last or upcoming month. The course should include methods of self-protection including the clothing to wear and the protective spray and lotions to use. A sample is to be provided, considering statistically the individuals are more likely to apply the spray or lotion if given to them directly, than in comparison to only providing the information and no product is provided. Pregnant woman especially should be required to take this course as the Zika virus increases the child to be born with defects such as microcephaly and mental impairment. Because either mild symptoms or no symptoms are shown with the effect of the virus, it is recommended that the individuals returning to the state are placed in a holding facility in the nearest hospital until testing is completed to test positive or negative for the virus. If negative, the individual may return to their destination. If positive, the individual will undergo further treatment to confirm the health of the individual, especially pregnant woman. Prior to the individual being submitted to the hospital for evaluation, their belongings, including carry-ons and suitcases are to run through a non-toxic mosquito exterminating fumigator. This way, monitoring the entering and leaving of the residence can monitor the spread and impact of the virus. Further, not only is the human body tested for the virus, but because the mosquito carries the virus, physical belonging testing can increase the likelihood of the virus not spreading beyond the landing point.
Although the Zika virus is not deemed fatal, with only an estimated fatality rate of 8.3 percent, and low life-threating symptoms the awareness and attempting to prevent and slow down the spread of the virus still holds an imperative alert for the people of Georgia. This alert is mainly targeted for the pregnant woman as the virus may effect the unborn child with a ten percent chance. Increasing awareness and check points for travelers will increase the likeness that the the Zika virus is monitored, even if not fully contained.