Zika: The mosquito-borne virus that causes microcephaly in newborns has taken the world by storm. To date, more than 80 travel-related Zika cases have been reported, with new information surfacing daily. And yet, we still know very little about the virus, but what we do know is concerning. For everything you need to know about the virus, we have compiled some of our reports below:
What Is Zika?
The Zika virus, which originated in Uganda, is now raging across South America, and has hit Brazil so hard that the the government has estimated that there have been 1.5 million new cases since May 2015.
In healthy adults and children, the symptoms of infection are usually mild, self-limiting, or even non-existent. But, the case with unborn babies is quite different. When a pregnant woman is infected, her baby can be born with a condition called microcephaly (shrinking of the brain), which is either fatal, or causes lifelong brain impairment. The virus has been detected in the placentas of pregnant women, brains of microcephalic babies, and most recently, in urine and saliva.
Read On: Mosquito Maladies: A New, Really Nasty Viral Infection
How can Zika be transmitted?
- Through mosquito bites from an infected mosquito; the same mosquitos that spread the dengue and chikungunya viruses.
- From mother to child as a birth defect, if pregnant woman is infected
- Through sexual contact
- Through blood transfusion, although, to date, there have been no confirmed blood transfusion Zika cases reported in the United States
Read On: Zika Caught From a Blood Transfusion: What That Means
Read On: Can Zika Be Sexually Transmitted?
How Bad Is It?
Zika could be just another flavivirus, like hepatitis C, yellow fever, and West Nile, except … who knows? There is something new discovered about it almost daily. And it is all but proven to cause birth defects — perhaps the scariest scare of them all.
Read On: Zika is Possibly the Scariest Virus Since HIV
Read On: Zika Virus: Unlikely to Kill, Impossible to be Killed
Researchers have been able to identify a gene that determines maleness in mosquitoes, and if that were introduced into females it could potentially help wipe out the vector for the Zika virus infection. This method could also be applied to fighting other diseases such as yellow fever, Dengue and Chikungunya. Another way: allow widespread use of DDT, which eradicated that same mosquito during the 20th century.
Read On: How ‘Victor/Victoria’ Mosquitoes Can Help Cure Zika
Read On: Stopping Zika Virus in Its Tracks, by Unleashing DDT
Read On: Zika Virus Will Sure Get Us to Embrace Toxic Chemicals
Read On: The Demographic Implications of Using Birth Control to Combat Zika
Read On: Indian Lab Claims First Zika Virus Vaccine
Debunking The Bad Science Claims:
Mike Adams who runs "Natural News" has been one of the first conspiracy theorists to shout out claims that Zika is a made up story about a virus outbreak dreamed up by the vaccine pushers. He writes:
“All the signs are there, folks. This is the Bill Gates human depopulation agenda in full swing, disguised as a mosquito virus outbreak. It’s no mistake that the larvicide chemicals are being sprayed in the poorest areas of Brazil, targeting those very same populations that are now being told, ‘Don’t have any more babies!”‘