Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Zika virus

AlJ has an article on the outbreak.

here in the Philippines, we are starting to worry about it: After all, the same mosquito that carries Dengue (which is endemic here) carries the Zika virus too.

hmmm...I wonder if the guys will come around and spray us again for mosquitos.

NYTimes article HERE.

Zika is spread by mosquitoes of the Aedes genus, which can breed in a pool of water as small as a bottle cap and usually bite during the day. The aggressive yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, has spread most Zika cases, but that mosquito is common in the United States only in Florida, along the Gulf Coast, and in Hawaii – although it has been found as far north as Washington, D.C., in hot weather.
The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, is also known to transmit the virus, but it is not clear how efficiently. That mosquito ranges as far north as New York and Chicago in summer.
actually, the "yellow fever" mosquito must have a larger range in the summer, since the US had quite a few "yellow fever" outbreaks in the past.

and of course, the climate change activists are ignoring history, and blaming the disease on "global warming": Never mind that the mosquito that carries it has been around for years: the "climate change" part is because of the spread of the tiger mosquito...but of course trade if probably the cause of that too... just like the spread of the Zika virus is probably because air travel brought asymptomatic cases to watch the World Up in Brazil.

as I wrote before: a disaster if you are pregnant, but the disease itself is not a big deal...and you don't see this type of hysteria about malaria or dengue fever.

A vaccine is needed, to give to women before they are pregnant..a problem because if you have a vaccine and give it to women over the age of 14, some of them will be pregnant and not know it. So the first step to a vaccine will be to pass a liability law that stops lawsuits against companies trying to make a vaccine.

and this BBC article is by a girl who was  born with microcephaly.
On the day I was born, the doctor said I had no chance of survival. "She will not walk, she will not talk and, over time, she will enter a vegetative state until she dies," he said.
But he - like many others - was wrong.
I grew up, went to school, went to university. Today I am a journalist and I write a blog.
I chose journalism to give a voice to people like me, who do not feel represented. I wanted to be a spokesperson for microcephaly and, as a final course project, I wrote a book about my life and the lives of others with this syndrome.
I can say that today I am a fulfilled, happy woman.
With the spike of microcephaly cases in Brazil, the need for information is more important than ever. People need to put their prejudices aside and learn about this syndrome.
Including the health minister. He said that Brazil would have a "damaged generation" because of microcephaly. If I could speak to him, I would say: "What is damaged is your statement, sir."
Microcephaly is a box of surprises. You may suffer from serious problems or you may not. So I believe that those who have abortions are not giving their children a chance to succeed.

yes, the abortion activists in Brazil are using the virus to change the abortion laws in that country. Surprise surprise.

update: Brazil has noticed 3000 plus cases of microcephaly in the last 6 months, up from 200 cases over the last five years...which they attribute to the Zika virus.

but to put it into perspective: Lifehacker notes:

The risk is small. Nationwide, Brazil’s 4000 cases of suspected microcephaly are around one-tenth of one percent of all the country’s births in 2015.
That number is not too far off from the rate of microcephaly in the US caused by a virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV). And back before we had a measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, the rubella virus often caused microcephaly, too. So this isn’t a huge jump from the risks you were already ignoring.
cytomegalovirus is one of the TORCH syndromes of mild viruses/infections that don't make you too sick, but can affect your baby.

TORCH Syndrome refers to infection of a developing fetus or newbornby any of a group of infectious agents. "TORCH" is an acronym meaning (T)oxoplasmosis, (O)ther Agents, (R)ubella (also known as German Measles), (C)ytomegalovirus, and (H)erpes Simplex. Infection with any of these agents (i.e., Toxoplasma gondii, rubella virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex viruses) may cause a constellation of similar symptoms in affected newborns. 

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