Zika — Something else to worry about

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    I’ve been following the Zika stories on Drudge, but haven’t seen it mentioned here.

    Mosquito-borne, (a specific type of mosquito–Aedes aegypti), which has relatively mild symptoms–apart from it’s cause of microcephaly (brain doesn’t grow normally) in the fetuses of pregnant women. It is expected to spread throughout North, Central, and South America, excepting Canada and continental Chile.

    Virologists have yet to understand how the disease – first recognised in Uganda in the 1940s – reached Brazil, or why it has spread so fast. On Monday, the World Health Organisation warned that the virus is likely to spread to every country in the Americas apart from Canada and Chile.

    At present there is neither a vaccine nor a cure for the virus, and authorities across the hemisphere are scrambling to come up with a response.

    Like other tropical fevers, such as dengue and chikungunya, Zika is transmitted by Aedes aegypti, a species of mosquito that thrives in the stagnant water pools that proliferate across Brazilian cities during the country’s hot, wet summers.

    The virus results in many of the same symptoms as dengue and chikungunya: fever, joint pain and rashes. If anything, its distinguishing feature, at least at first, appeared to be its relative mildness.


    Pregnant women are being told to stay away from Rio for the olympics.


    Travelers who go to Zika-affected countries could bring the virus to the U.S, where this could be transmitted to mosquitoes that feed on the blood of those infected. The virus-carrying mosquitoes would then pass along the virus when they feed on another person.

    “With the recent outbreaks in the Pacific Islands and South America, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States will likely increase,” the CDC said. “These imported cases may result in local spread of the virus in some areas of the United States.”

    Infection contracted after travelling to South America has already been reported in the U.S. The Hawaii State Health Department reported last week of a newborn who tested positive for past Zika infection. The baby’s mother lived in Brazil in May 2015 and likely passed the virus to her child.

    Other cases in Texas, Illinois and Florida also involved individuals who travelled to countries where Zika was endemic.

    Dawn Wesson, from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, said that there’s a good chance that the Zika virus will spread locally this coming summer, based on the pattern observed with other mosquito-borne virus, the chikungunya.


    Zika is already in Mexico, and much of Central America. (consider all those illegal immigrants crossing the border.) http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/

    South American governments including Brazil and Colombia are asking also women to avoid pregnancy, according to AP. In El Salvador, authorities have asked women to not get pregnant until 2018.


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