Sunday, February 21, 2016
What About the Zika Virus?
The two cases brought into the U.S. were of 80 passengers returning from another country. There has also been a case reported in Puerto Rico (Washington Post).
The Zika virus causes microcephaly, "unusually small heads and damaged brains," in infants. There were a surge of these cases in Brazil, when doctors began to notice a trend. Zika combined with other viruses can lead to this effect; Zika is the main cause, however (NYT).
Symptoms include rash, fever, joint pain, and red eyes (NYT). What's even more alarming, though, is Zika has now been found to lead to paralysis as well as the previously mentioned effects. In Colombia, one of five (severe) cases in the past 6-weeks is that of a 10 year old girl who has lost function in her legs (Washington Post).
1. Zika is relatively new. Is it like the Ebola epidemic, in that the "scare will blow over," so to speak?
2. If so, why? If not, how is Zika different?