The Zika virus is becoming more and more terrifying by the day and this after the World Health Organization (WHO) already declared an international public health emergency. Today, the WHO announced, what it believes, is a likely case of Zika virus transmission occurring from sex with a host of the virus.
Zika and the citronella/lavender condom?
That will never work but until just now I never envisioned writing those words and I’m happy that I have. As someone who lives in Guatemala, has malaria (never leaves your system despite my contraction years ago in Southeast Asia) and has had Dengue Fever twice, I’ve been going out of my way to ignore the Zika virus. I mean you just can’t live your life like that.
But this is truly scary, you can get Zika from having sex with someone who recently traveled to Venezuela?
Well, that’s what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is saying.
The WHO has said the virus, linked to severe birth defects in Brazil, has been spreading rapidly in the Americas and could infect 4 million people. (This from Reuters)
And Latin America is not the only region where Zika infections are expected to spread rapidly. Africa and Asia have each been deemed a potential cauldron for the virus’ incubation and spread.
Travel to these dangerous countries/continents was already sketchy, a proper outbreak would cripple tourism beyond the birth defects that would accompany such a disaster.
Zika isn’t a joke
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said on Feb. 1 that it was “strongly suspected but not yet scientifically proven” that Zika causes this head-shrinking birth defect.
“We believe the association is ‘guilty until proven innocent,'” Costello said, speaking to the virus’ dangers.
“The reason it’s a global concern,” Costello said of Zika, “is that we are worried that this could also spread back to other areas of the world where the population may not be immune.”
Brazil, which is dealing with the brunt of the virus that first emerged in Rhesus monkeys in 1948 has pledged to do everything it can to stop its spread.
In an address to a joint session of Brazil’s Congress, President Dilma Rousseff said that “her” country was doing everything to combat the virus ahead of this summer’s Olympics.
“There will be no lack of funding,” Rousseff said.
With a vaccine unlikely in 2016, this attitude is what will ultimately matter.