By Claire AikenThe world is being overwhelmed by a new and insidious virus that’s spreading like a virus, wiping out the lives of millions.
There’s no shortage of reasons to be alarmed, as the virus has already been linked to serious birth defects, a rare but fatal form of brain cancer and several other deadly and debilitating illnesses.
But for many, the virus is already affecting their lives.
It’s a virus that has the potential to wipe out entire populations and wipe out everything that’s happened to them since they were a baby, say experts.
It has been known to spread by mosquitoes, but experts say that’s not always the case, and some experts are warning of the potential for the virus to make its way into the home.
In a world where people have been living in an era of rapid technological progress, there is an expectation that the technology and the way in which it is used is a good thing, says Dr John Lappin, a medical epidemiologist at University College London.
“The idea is to get a sense of where people are living and what’s going on,” he says.
“You can get a bit of an idea of what’s happening in their lives if you have a real-time look at the mosquitoes in their backyard.”
The virus is not a new threat.
In the 1950s and 1960s, scientists found it in a number of countries, including Australia.
In the late 1990s, the world was rocked by a major pandemic that killed thousands of people.
At the time, scientists were predicting that the disease was likely to reach Australia, as it was a hotbed of mosquitoes.
“It’s quite scary because of the spread and the numbers of people infected,” says Dr Lappen.
But he says that in recent years, the threat has eased.
“People have started to have the time of their lives,” he said.
“And now, the number of infections is declining.”
He says that has been good news for many Australians.
“We’ve seen a drop in the number in the last few years.”
So that has really been a positive sign for the country.
“Dr Lappon says that if you’re not prepared to put in the effort to be safe, the disease may just sweep in and take over.”
I think that, if you don’t do anything to take extra precautions, it could spread.
“He said people should remember that the virus doesn’t necessarily have to come from anywhere.”
If you have family members or friends or close neighbours that you’re concerned about, they’re probably more likely to be infected,” he explains.”
This virus is a lot more difficult to catch and it is not transmitted by direct contact.
“That said, you shouldn’t ignore the mosquitoes and just wait for it to come along.”
And the good news is that people who are able to remain indoors should be vigilant, says the World Health Organization.
The virus, which has no known cure, is transmitted through contact with infected mosquitoes, and people are at higher risk of getting it if they drink too much water or eat food that has already received it.
Dr Lapin says that people can get the virus through eating food, or from contact with people who have been sick or have recently had a blood test.
“Anytime you have contact with a mosquito, it will transmit the virus,” he advises.
“What people need to do is to be vigilant and to get in touch with a doctor if you’ve got a fever, or if you think you may have had a fever.”
Dr Alan Latham, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Queensland, agrees.
“When you are not aware that you have it, then you’re at a higher risk,” he tells 7.30.
He warns that while the virus can be passed from one person to another, people who contract it can still be infectious.
“They can spread it and infect other people,” he adds.
“For example, if someone has a cold, they can pass it to others.”
Dr Lambson says the number and spread of infections around the world is increasing.
“Australia has had a relatively small number of cases, which may have been because we have a lot of people coming in from overseas,” he explained.
“But if you look at other countries, like in China, where the infection is much higher, then they are seeing an increase in cases.”
He adds that if we’re not doing our part to protect ourselves from the virus, we’re going to be in a position where we are going to have many more infections.
Topics:vaccination-and-medical-research,virus-disorders,viral-disorder,health,tas,australiaFirst posted November 03, 2020 13:04:34Contact Paul JardineMore stories from Tasmania