Comply or Fight Against Zika Quarantine?
Zika, following the eruption of the Ebola virus a year later, an occurrence so powerful not only swept the lives of many, but also specifically targeted well-known athletes such as Greg Rutherford — British long jump champion — who has taken measures as drastic as freezing his sperm prior to attending the Rio games, due to the fear of infection from the virus (Kitwood). Rutherford was worrisome that his exposure to the virus, while in the midst of his stay for the Rio games, could cause a negative outcome for the future of his wife and children (Kitwood).
Feeling Unprotected Because of Zika
Despite the fact that the Ebola scare seemed to have left the world feeling unsafe from viral extremities, the uprising Zika epidemic did just the opposite at leaving the current situation at ease. Keeping in mind that a situation so fresh took place about a year prior to Zika, the responses were not only terror and uneasiness, but also confusion on how to handle the issue in the first place. With the intention of exponentially infecting as much of our population as possible, the virus not only causes microcephaly — a condition leaving children with abnormally small heads — but it can also instantly cause death after birth, through women who already carry Zika in their placenta (Taylor).
Do All Mosquito Carry The Virus?
Preceding this, one of the main concerns might be in regards to whether all mosquitoes are capable of spreading Zika, yet the main species that are responsible of transmission are known as Aedes, which was also the same group that introduced dengue and chikungunya in the past(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Possibly, the thought of simply using bug spray could be a suggestion, but this is also an ineffective idea since not all are adequate and certain types will actually increase the risk of other complications (Graham). This situation involving complications around which bug sprays are effective, could spark the minds of families and cautious individuals like myself, to fear the virus even more once scientifically made products, begin to fail. It becomes a challenge to find treatment for this pandemic, because the question arises if bug spray that penetrates through the skin and bloodstream, would be more detrimental than the current virus (Graham). With an abundance of panic among families and future mothers, the controversy begins, determining if quarantine would be the best solution to this outbreak (Maron).
Is Quarantine Actually The Best Choice?
It has become a preconceived mindset that the only way to protect ourselves from viruses and pandemics is to adopt the method of quarantine. However, health officials should first allow deepened analysis and research prior to making such drastic decisions, for instance containment. During the midst of outbreaks one of the lingering questions that commonly arises, is whether or not the virus should be contained through this act. As women that are soon to be or currently mothers encounter opposing viewpoints about containment, married couples and those who are on the brink of conceiving, are completely for enforcing quarantine.Though the abrupt act in the usage of this method may seem like a quick and easy solution to preventing the spread of Zika, analysis in its ability to become effective when applied should first be considered, before radical measures are taken to prevent the undesirable outcomes which once occurred before. Reevaluating quarantine will not only help to provide judgements which are reasonable, but also take into account the physical and emotional stance of those affected by the virus; it would only cause a heavier burden once a distance from families in times of hardship as well as illness is implemented. Both those that are targeted by Zika, even others that are not directly affected by it, will in the end work in desirable harmony once choices are investigated with further thought.
The Past of Ebola Has Lingered Into The Future
Although in the past the use of quarantine in relevance to current epidemics such as Ebola, was a loophole to containment for the outbreak, the results of it in practically were not taken into consideration (Mak). Primarily, a large factor to why health officials and individuals in general are so quick to side with the use of regulation, is because it has been an act of the past; as frequently stated that history oftentimes repeats itself. Sure enough, quarantine would leave others at ease knowing that those who are infected will be separated from the healthy others, and would give a cushion of security within the minds of those that are paranoid.
Practicality of Containing the Virus
However, this act will not necessarily solve the issue, nor will it do anything to cure the affected population, but it would only cause a domino effect of distress. A low percentage of excessive spreading through contact unlike SARS, infectious disease caused by a coronavirus, or the common cold has been reported when in comparison to the Zika and Ebola viruses (Werner). Nevertheless, without considering factual information, an uprising has lead to hasty conclusions without a bit of research to outweigh which decision would be reasonable to side with. Evaluating a critical choice like this, requires further degree of research and effort put into it, so that others would not suffer from the decisions that are made by emotional judgement and biases of the past.
Emotional Toll That Is Involved When Quarantine Is Utilized
Despite the fact that those who feel emotionally affiliated and have had past experiences revolving around epidemics, tend to respond a different way in resistance to those who have not, the virus is provoking division among loved ones. In the past, a twenty one day incubation period was implemented for those targeted by Ebola. People were required to stay within incubation for a certain amount of time, if they were within the vicinity of an infected nurse (Bialik). For many, personal stories of individuals that were targeted by the viruses and experienced emotional shifts, are the tipping point to determining if quarantine is the wisest road to take. Lina Moses — Epidemiologist, Sierra Leone — states that, Ebola is a virus that can commonly be spread through the factor of sympathy, the most sorrowful aspect to this, is that it is “spread through love” and the only way that the disease begins to improve as far as prevention of further infection is when the sacrifice of caring for others halts. Emotionally the sickness could cause gaps among loved ones because once one is infected and needs the help of another, they are at risk of contracting the virus as well; at times this breaks families due to the forceful decision of keeping a distance to protect themselves. Imprisoning our loved ones as well as others around us, and holding them captive for a situation they did not have much restraint over, could be mentally destructive in such ways that would cause them to think the entire situation was their fault when it reality, it was far from their control
Is There Even Evidence That Proves Its Effectiveness?
There seems to be no clear cut evidence provided which entails that the use of quarantine, does in fact prevent the spread of Zika when adapted as a solution to the pandemic. Often times the root cause is not our population’s frequent exposure and interaction among one another, but instead it is surprisingly transmitted through sexual partners (Reuters). With this, it is a challenge to accept that the way this virus is spread is similar to the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, and not automatically considered airborne. Casual forms of contact or kissing have not been the issue in causing a spread, but rather detected in saliva and urine, so there has not been a direct relation among the two (Maron) . Although it is present in certain forms of bodily fluids, it does not necessarily mean that these human aspects are the source of transmission, and others may feel this goes against their human rights once they are required to face the consequences of quarantine, when their illnesses do not even contain a correlation in relevance to infecting others. Without reliable indication of whether or not the virus is indeed passed on through every human contact, containment may be wise to reconsider.
In our end the focus of this unsolved reality is where the solution to this complete disasters resides, due to the fact that quarantine would be a poor choice and taking into account that the resource will be not be utilized, a buffer in between the two extremities must be determined. Previously a slight effort towards developing a successful vaccine for the virus has been touched upon, but has not been successful (Dennis).
Finding Alternatives and Other Solutions
Researchers have recently created a vaccine that has been effective in fighting Japanese Encephalitis, which is similar to Zika and found to work profoundly on monkeys (Harris). With just small progress that has commenced in the scientific world, this could mean an enormous impact, in the efforts to iron out the dilemma of the virus, as it is the most practical option without taking an emotional toll on those affected, and will also serve as a possible successful alternative. Since the epidemic has spread so vastly already, situations like these would be unattainable to try and contain. With all the hard work as well as the considerable amount of money that would be geared toward quarantine, it could instead be used to reside with discovering an effective vaccine, and in the end will more than likely be successful blooming into a key of endless solutions in relevance to Zika.
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Kitwood, Dan. “Olympic Athletes Concerned.” 20 Alarming Facts about Zika Virus. CBS Interactive, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.
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Werner, Erica. “Do Quarantines Actually Work? Experts Question Effectiveness.” PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2016.