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Snipper

Zika virus

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Anyone on this forum qualified to advise concerning the Zika virus? Worrying. 

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I'm certainly not qualified but an extract from the Economist

On January 15th America’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised pregnant women not to travel to countries where Zika is circulating.

The virus was first isolated in 1947, from a monkey in the Zika forest in Uganda. Since then it has caused small and sporadic outbreaks in parts of Africa and South-East Asia. In Brazil, for reasons yet unclear, it quickly flared into an epidemic after its arrival—by official estimates infecting as many as 1.5m people.

Alarm bells started ringing in October, when doctors in Pernambuco, one of Brazil’s north-eastern states, saw a huge increase in babies born with microcephaly: an abnormally small head, often with consequent brain damage. In the next four months more than 3,500 cases of microcephaly were reported in Brazil. That compared with fewer than 200 a year in the five years before 2015. None of the known causes of the condition—which include genetic abnormalities, drugs, alcohol, rubella infection and exposure to some chemicals during pregnancy—seemed a plausible culprit.

Last week, CDC scientists announced the best evidence so far that Zika can pass from mother to fetus: they found the virus in four Brazilian babies with microcephaly who had died in the womb or shortly after birth. Previously, Brazilian researchers had found Zika in the amniotic fluid of women carrying fetuses with microcephaly.

There is another fear. After Zika arrived in Brazil, and also in El Salvador, both saw a sharp increase in severe neurological and autoimmune problems, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can lead to paralysis. These also surged in French Polynesia after Zika broke out there in 2013.

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http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21688849-newly-emerging-disease-threatening-americas-virus-chequers

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Nope.

But i expect there'll be some in the NW community who think they are.

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I'll close this one and keep it open in the serious discussion area, as it's worthy of that area and is likely to attract more discussion there:

 

 

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