HSE issues warning as two tested positive for Zika virus in Ireland

Zika VirusWhile the World Health Organization declared a global emergency over the explosive spread of the virus earlier this week, it has stressed that the connection to microcephaly is circumstantial and has not yet been proven scientifically.

Two tested positive for Zika virus in Ireland. Both people had recently travelled to countries affected by the virus. After exhibiting symptoms of the infection and feeling unwell, they were assessed and tested  positive for the virus. The Zika virus is usually spread through the Aedes mosquito when it bites. It cannot be transferred from person to person but may be transferred though sexual intercourse in very rare cases. Though it is not life threatening, it can cause birth defects in pregnant women.

Majority of the cases infected with the virus exhibit no symptoms. Others suffer from mild illness which lasts for two to seven days.The HSE confirmed that both the patients have recovered and are well, but they are still under strict medical supervision. The Zika virus is often associated with microcephaly in which infants are born with abnormally small heads. There is no clear evidence suggesting this theory. A number of studies are underway in Latin America looking for evidence.

The association of the virus with microcephaly is being treated very seriously bu the health authorities. The Public Health Agency of Canada warns pregnant women travelling to the affected countries to consult their doctors and others to postpone any plans to pregnancy.Inspite of declaring a global emergency, WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said: "We must remember that we don't know either if Zika does cause microcephaly".