Major league ballplayers are nearly always treated well by their handlers and organizations, which see to it that their concerns are addressed to their satisfaction. And when that concern happens to be the Zika virus, you can bet that if they want to steer clear of even the smallest possible risk of exposure that is exactly what will happen. And it just did.
Almost as if this was a sci-fi movie, virtually every time that new information about Zika surfaces it's bad. This trend continued this week as the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat, and Dr. Anthony Fauci of the NIH held a mostly-discouraging press briefing at the White House.
Shutterstock 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:
A new modeling study in the journal PLOS Outbreaks suggests that the domain of Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads the Zika virus, could be a lot wider than previously thought. If this is a warm summer, 50 cities in the United States, from coast to coast, could be home to the bug.
The news about Zika keeps coming, and it's not good. A new Lancet study estimates that the fetuses of 1 in 100 women who become infected with the virus during their first trimester will be microcephalic, meaning that they'll be born with undersized heads. Given the number of infections in Brazil alone, this is a disturbingly high number.
How will the Zika virus impact the U.S.? Hard to say, but researchers are taking it very seriously. In fact, one particular drug looks promising because it works similarly to Sovaldi, Gilead's revolutionary drug that was the first legitimate cure for hepatitis C. Although it's way too soon to tell if this approach will work, science is on their side.
Mosquito season is around the corner, and there may be an extra surprise this year, depending on how Zika behaves. So, do you slop DEET all over your kids? Spray to kill the mosquitoes? Some are calling for the use of DDT. But if you're scared of chemicals, you might actually prefer DDT to DEET. Here's how they compare.
As of now, all Zika infections that were transmitted by mosquitoes have been a result of the Aedes mosquito, which is found in warm areas. But now, the 800-pound pest in the room is whether the far more common Culex family of mosquitoes might be able to transmit the virus, which can make this issue more disturbing.
Brazil plans to use gamma radiation to halt the spread of Zika. Did we forget about the GM mosquito? It's modern technology, you know.
Despite enormous news coverage, there's still very little known about the Zika virus. What we do know is that recently there have been two important studies that strengthen the link between the virus and birth defects, and that there are now 30 countries where it's found.
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.
There's nothing like a medical scare to bring out the kooks; Zika has done just that. And as facts pile up showing that Zika is causing microcephaly, so do the conspiracy theories. While a new CDC study gives solid evidence connecting the virus to birth defects, others think Bill Gates is a madman out to depopulate the world.