Download Zika: The Emerging Epidemic by Donald G. McNeil Jr. PDF

By Donald G. McNeil Jr.

Till lately, Zika—once thought of a delicate disease—was not often a reason for international panic. yet as early as August 2015, medical professionals in northeast Brazil started to observe a pattern: many moms who had lately skilled signs of the Zika virus have been giving delivery to infants with microcephaly, a major sickness characterised by way of strangely small heads and mind damage.

By early 2016, Zika used to be making headlines as facts mounted—and finally confirmed—that microcephaly is as a result of the virus, which are gotten smaller via mosquito bites or sexually transmitted.

The first demise on American soil, in February 2016, was once proven in Puerto Rico in April. the 1st case of microcephaly in Puerto Rico used to be proven on may perhaps thirteen, 2016. The virus has been identified to be transmitted through the Aedes aegypti or Yellow Fever mosquito, yet now Aedes albopictus, the Asian Tiger mosquito, has been discovered to hold it besides, this means that it will possibly impact areas as a ways north as New England and the nice Lakes. straight away, at the least 298 million humans within the Americas stay in parts “conducive to Zika transmission,” in response to a contemporary examine. Over the following yr, greater than five million infants could be born.

In Zika: The rising Epidemic, Donald G. McNeil Jr. units the proof instantly in a desirable exploration of Zika’s origins, how it’s spreading, the race for a remedy, and what we will be able to do to guard ourselves now.

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Zika: The Emerging Epidemic

Till lately, Zika—once thought of a gentle disease—was infrequently a reason for international panic. yet as early as August 2015, medical professionals in northeast Brazil started to observe a pattern: many moms who had lately skilled signs of the Zika virus have been giving delivery to infants with microcephaly, a significant sickness characterised by way of surprisingly small heads and mind harm.

Additional resources for Zika: The Emerging Epidemic

Sample text

Swine flu. Bird flu. But Zika virus is like no other. As Dr. ” It is the only mosquito-borne virus that routinely crosses the placenta to kill or cripple babies. Scientists do not know why or how it crosses the placenta when other mosquito-borne viruses like dengue, yellow fever, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis almost never do. It seems to be able to do so at any time in a pregnancy. It is the only mosquito-borne virus that is also sexually transmitted. S. states, not 12, as was originally thought.

How great is not known as of this writing. French Polynesia’s experience suggested that mothers who had Zika while pregnant had a 1-in-100 chance of having a deformed child. A small study in Brazil suggested it was closer to 1 in 3. More research is being done. After that, the greatest threat appears to be autoimmune reactions, the best-known of which is Guillain-Barré. As of this writing, it is thought to occur during Zika epidemics at 20 to 25 times its normal rate—that is, once in every 4,000 to 5,000 infections.

Interestingly, he was the only one to develop the most characteristic sign of Zika: “a diffuse pink maculopapular rash” on his torso, face, and upper arms that lasted for five days, finally spreading all over his body. ” After that flurry of interest, the virus appears only sporadically in medical history before 2007. Between 1960 and 1983, cases were detected in the Central African Republic, Gabon, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and Sierra Leone. At some point—perhaps in the 1960s, perhaps earlier—it moved to Asia.

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