Journal of ISSN: 2373-6453JHVRV

Human Virology & Retrovirology
Editorial
Volume 3 Issue 1 - 2016
Emerging Arboviral Infections: The Importance of Epidemiology
Lynne Margaret Webber*
Department of Medical Virology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Received:January 12, 2016 | Published: January 13, 2016
*Corresponding author: Lynne Margaret Webber, Department of Medical Virology, University of Pretoria, TAD NHLS (National Health Laboratory Service), Pretoria, South Africa, PO Box 39224, Garsfontein East 0060, Tel: 082 555 7724; Email:
Citation: Webber LM (2016) Emerging Arboviral Infections: The Importance of Epidemiology. J Hum Virol Retrovirol 3(1): 00077. DOI: 10.15406/jhvrv.2016.03.00077

Keywords: Epidemiology; Zika virus; DNA; Viral zoonoses; Disease; Infection

Introduction

Epidemiology is the study of patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions, within defined human and/or animal populations [1,2]. Epidemiology shapes public health policy decisions and includes evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and by pursuing targets for preventive health care [1-4]. Epidemiology is also the study of human populations and addresses the following functions, namely:

  1. Discovering the agent, host and environmental factors;
  2. Determining the cause of illness, disability and death;
  3. Identifying risk-health determinants and
  4. Evaluating current health programmes and services [5,6].

Epidemiologic practices and viral zoonoses are geographically interlinked and selected examples within the African context are listed, namely:

  1. Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever;
  2. Dengue Virus;
  3. Ebola disease;
  4. Foot- and- mouth disease;;
  5. Lassa Fever;
  6. Marburg disease;
  7. Measles;
  8. Rabies;
  9. Rift Valley Fever;
  10. Sindbis virus;
  11. Middelburg virus;
  12. And rotaviral gastroenteritis [7-12].

Animals play a significant role within public health practices and viral zoonoses continue to threaten public health [6-12].

Discussion

Zika virus is an emerging viral disease in African, Asian, and recently South American countries [13,14]. It is related to Dengue, Yellow Fever, West Nile and Japanese Encephalitis viruses, all members of the family Flaviviridae [13]. Human to human transmission has been widely contested and sexual transmission and the result of Zika virus DNA in human amniotic fluid indicates another mode of foetal infection [15]. The Zika virus is spread through mosquito bites and Zika virus infection in pregnant women with subsequent birth defects is being investigated in Brazil [16].

Conclusion

No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease and the only way to prevent Zika virus infection is through avoiding mosquito bites, which occur mostly during the daytime.

References

  1. Haveman-Nies A, Jansen SC, van Oers JAM, van‘t Veer P (2011) Epidemiology in public health practice. American Journal of Epidemiology.
  2. Roger W (1996) Communicable disease, epidemiology and control. (2nd edn), Cab International, Wallingford, Oxon, OX108DE, UK.
  3. Lilienfeld AM, Lilienfeld DE (1982) Epidemiology and the public health policy: a historical perspective. J Public Health Policy 3(2): 140-149.
  4. Terris M (1992) The Society for Epidemiologic Research (SER) and the future of epidemiology. Am J Epidemiol 136(8): 909-915.
  5. Sackett DL, Rosenber WM (1995) The need for evidence-based medicine. J R Soc Med 88(11): 620-624.
  6. Browson RC, Fielding JE, Maylahn CM (2009) Evidence-based public health: a fundamental concept for public health practice. Annu Rev Public Health 30:175-201.
  7. Haroun M (2015) Viral zoonosis control and eradication: best addressed through One Health approach. J Hum Virol Retrovirol p. 3.
  8. Beechler BR, Bengis R, Swanepoel R, Paweska JT, Kemp A, et al. (2013) Rift Valley fever in Kruger National Park: do buffaloes play a role in the inter-epidemic circulation of virus? (2013) Transbound Emerg Dis 62(1): 24-32.
  9. World Health Organization (2014) WHO: Ebola response roadmap situation report 3.
  10. Odhiambo C, Venter M, Lwande O, Swanepoel R, Sang R (2016) Phylogenetic analysis of Bunyamwera and Ngari viruses (family Bunyaviridae, genus Orthobunyavirus) isolated in Kenya. Epidemiol Infect 144(2): 389-395.
  11. Parra JM, Salmeron O, Velasco M (2014) First case of Ebola acquired outside Africa. N Eng J Med 371(25): 2439-2440.
  12. van Niekerk S, Stacey H, June W, van Wilpe E, Marthi P, et al. (2015) Sindbis and Middelburg old world alphaviruses associated with neurologic diseases in horses, South Africa. Emerg Infect Dis 21(12): 2225-2229.
  13. Hayes EB (2009) Zika virus outside Africa. Emerg Infect Dis 15(9): 1347-1350.
  14. (CDC) (2014) Zika virus. Emerg Infect Dis 20(6): 1090.
  15. Duffy MR, Chen TH, Hancock WT, Powers AM, Kool JL, et al. (2009) Zika virus outbreak on Yap Island, Federated States of Micronesia. N Eng J Med 360(24): 2536-2543.
  16. CDC (2016) National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).
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