Many people from across the globe have been worried due to the recent news of the Zika outbreak. According to the World Health Organization (WHO opens in a new window), the Zika virus has spread through both Central and South America and it is estimated that in 2016, 3 to 4 million people will be infected. This required medical translation practices to promote knowledge of the virus across.
Indeed, reports indicate that the mosquito-borne illness is spreading across borders and an increasing number of people are testing positive for the virus. The Zika virus is transmitted to people mainly through the bite of infected mosquitoes of the Aedes species.
Medical institutions and scientists are studying the virus and are trying to determine illnesses that the virus is responsible for and why more people are being diagnosed with Zika. The virus started spreading widely when there was an outbreak in Brazil in 2015 and healthcare experts believe that the virus is linked to microcephaly in Brazil. There have been around 1.5 million cases of the virus in Brazil, and 4,000 cases of suspected microcephaly. The confirmed cases of the virus in the country prompted the World Health Organization to declare an international public health emergency.
Medical Translation Practices Can Protect Many Pregnant Women and Unborn Children
Multiple countries including Australia where people have tested positive for the virus have issued travel warnings with the aim of preventing the spread of Zika. Unfortunately, language barriers are making it hard to deal with the problem especially when it comes to relaying the message about the severity of Zika to foreigners.
News is usually in the main languages of a country and a person who is not familiar with the specific languages may not be able to understand what is being relayed about Zika and the precautions that should be taken. As a result, the person will not understand the warnings and restrictions, and may end up unknowingly spreading the virus due to the lack of a medical translation practices. A solution to the language problem is to engage a medical translation service so that the information can reach a wider audience which will ensure that everyone is properly informed of the Zika virus and the precautions to take.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC opens in a new window) issued an interim travel guidance because of the virus to 14 countries and regions in South and Central America and the Caribbean. The CDC cautions pregnant women and advises them to postpone travelling to areas where the transmission of the virus is ongoing. According to the CDC, “this alert follows reports in Brazil of microcephaly, and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika Virus, while pregnant”.
The Australian government has also advised women who are pregnant or intend to get pregnant to avoid travelling to countries that have been confirmed to be affected by the outbreak. Multiple countries have taken great caution as they wait for the link between Zika and microcephaly to be comprehensively understood. The warnings are only precautionary measures meant to stop further harm or damage when additional tests are being done to prove the relationship between pregnancy and Zika.
Take Zika Seriously
The Zika virus is believed to pose a great threat and thorough research is being done to learn more about it. Some countries have even dedicated some of their research and medical facilities, and assigned experts the task of investigating the outbreak. The CDC is in the process of allocating more resources to learn about the virus and is planning to do more studies to gather information about the risks the virus poses to a pregnant woman. One thing that is certain is that the number of people being diagnosed with Zika will rise.
Cameron Dick, Queensland’s health minister, said “I expect that there will be more positive tests in Queensland – we need to be ready for that.” His statement confirms that the probability of more people testing positive is high. Therefore, despite the fact that huge strides have been made in regards to research on the virus, people are advised to look out for the symptoms of Zika virus and take the necessary precautions.
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