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4 Viruses Like Zika That Could Trigger An Epidemic

There are currently over 50 countries with confirmed cases of the Zika virus, while health authorities are focused on containing the spread of this latest mosquito-borne disease, epidemiologists are on lookout for new viruses that may be carried the spread by insects. Find out what could be the next Zika in the making.

1. MAYARO

mayaro-min

Carrier: Aedes mosquitoes

Symptoms: Fever, chills, rashes, vomiting, diarrhea and joint pains

Treatment: None

Similar to Chikungunya virus, was first isolated in Trinidad in 1954.

May already have adapted, like chikungunya, to be transmitted by urban mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus.

Recent cases reported in large Brazilian cities.

As of September 2016, was detected in Haiti in what could be new strains adapting to urban cycle.

2. RIFT VALLEY FEVER

rift-valley-fever-min

Carrier: Culex tritaeniorhynchus and Aedes vexans as well as possibly over  30 other mosquito species, 19 of which are native to North America

Symptoms: Fever and chills that can lead to hemorrhagic diseases accompanied by abnormal bleeding or brain inflammation

Treatment: none (but there is current advanced work on a vaccine

Facts

Half of all Rift Valley haemorrhagic cases are fatal.

Discovered in Kenya in early 20th century and was limited to Africa.

In 2000, cases animal can serve as reservoirs of the virus

Wild and domestic animal can serve as reservoirs of the virus

3. CRIMEAN-CONGO HEMORRHAGIC FEVER

crimean-congo-hemorrhagic-fever-min

Carrier: Ticks (mostly of the Hyalomma genus)

Symptom: Fever, rashes, bleeding from almost anywhere in the body

Treatment: Commonly the antiviral drug ribavirin but is said to be not very effective

Facts:

Up to present fatality rate.

Identified in 1944 and spread from Africa to China.

Arrived in Turkey in 2002 and by 2015 has infected 10,000 people there.

Reached india in 2011, Germany in 2015, Spain in 2016, and in the UK by hitchhiking on  migratory birds.

4. USUTU

usutu-virus-min

Carrier: Culex common house mosquito (which transmits this Avian virus)

Symptoms: Headaches, fever, neurological disorders (similar to West Nile virus)

Treatment: None

Facts:

Possibly connected to climate change; after warm summers in Europe, Usutu outbreaks and massive die-offs were reported among 4 species of birds

In 2013, 3 serious human cases were documented in Croatia.

6% of Italians around Modena have recently and unknowingly been infected with virus.

For most cases, Usutu infections in humans and without symptoms.