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Zika Virus Prompts Worldwide Health Concern

By Alwyn Rapose MD, FACP.
Division of Infectious Diseases
Reliant Medical Group

A previously little known virus is causing a great deal of concern in many areas of the world. Spread by mosquitoes, the Zika virus infection in a pregnant female may result in babies born with microcephaly, a dangerous neurological disorder. The virus has already spread to at least 22 countries, and more countries are likely to be added to the list.

Pregnant women need to be cautious

Symptoms of the virus are mild, including fever, headache, rash and possibly conjunctivitis (pink eye). Many of those infected may be unaware that they have the virus because most infections may occur without any symptoms. The main danger of the Zika virus is to pregnant women. This infection in pregnancy may be linked to increased incidence of microcephely, a disorder that results in babies born with abnormally small heads and other developmental issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning pregnant women against traveling to areas that have an outbreak of the Zika virus infection. In addition, the CDC is asking OB-Gyn physicians to review fetal ultrasounds and do maternal testing for any pregnant woman who has traveled to one of the countries listed where the Zika virus is present.

Central America, South America, and the Caribbean are main areas of concern

According to the CDC, the Zika virus is currently being locally transmitted in the following countries: Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Columbia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Suriname, Samoa and Venezuela. In previous years, outbreaks of Zika virus have also been recorded in Africa, Asia and the Pacific region. The virus has arrived in the United States via travelers returning from these infected areas. The concern is that the United States may see more cases in the warmer months as the type of mosquitoes carrying the virus are also present in parts of the United States.

Mosquito protection measures are the best defense

Patients become infected with the virus when a mosquito bites a person with an active infection and then spreads the virus by biting other people. The CDC has also noted some documented cases of virus transmission in pregnancy, through blood transfusion, laboratory exposure and sexual contact.

There is currently no specific medication or vaccine available. The most important preventive strategy to protect oneself against the Zika virus is to avoid travel to areas that are actively infected. If you must travel to a country where Zika is present, the CDC advises strict adherence to mosquito protection measures. These include using an EPA-approved insect repellent over sunscreen, wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts that are thick enough to block a mosquito bite, as well as sleeping in rooms that are screened and can prevent the infiltration of mosquitoes and sleeping under mosquito nets. Keep in mind that the mosquito that carries the Zika virus is known to be an aggressive mosquito and prefers to bite in the daytime and also in indoor areas.

Scientists are already working on developing a vaccine against Zika, but it is believed that an effective vaccine is a few years away. That is why preventing infection needs to be a top priority. Keep in mind that although the Zika virus is commanding world-wide attention because of the alarming connection between infection and microcephaly, the virus is not expected to spread in the United States at the same rate as other countries.

If you have any concerns that you or a loved one may have been exposed to the Zika virus, please consult with your medical provider. You can learn more about the Zika virus here: www.cdc.gov/zika/

One Response

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  1. Posted by Peter G Tocci

    Not really ”little known,” the Zika virus has been known in the past to be associated with very mild health problems. According to investigative journalist Jon Rappoport, “In the 70 years since Zika was discovered, it has, at worst, caused mild transient illness. Now, suddenly, it’s supposed to be creating radical birth defects. Of course, the Brazilian researchers can only find a possible correlation between Zika and the birth defect in 17 cases. Seventeen. Maybe.”

    What the Zika threat appears to be in reality is another “cover story” to obscure the unpleasant possibilities for the microcephaly. Two aspects loom large: The aluminum-adjuvant DTaP vaccine forced on pregnant Brazilian women by the government; and agricultural toxins, especially a larvicide. Either or both are likely involved.

    A report from the Argentine doctors’ organization, Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, challenges the theory that the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil is the cause of the increase in the birth defect microcephaly among newborns http://www.reduas.com.ar

    The Argentine Physicians commented: “Malformations detected in thousands of children from pregnant women living in areas where the Brazilian state added Pyriproxyfen to drinking water are not a coincidence, even though the Ministry of Health places a direct blame on the Zika virus for this damage.”

    As to the vaccine, aluminum is a well-known neurotoxin – as is the mercury that has been in many vaccines over the years. According to Duluth family physician Gary Kohls. MD: “Prior to the disastrous microcephaly outbreak that began in November 2015, the embarrassed Brazilian public health experts knew that Brazil’s high 90 – 95% infant vaccination rates among its infants were failing to eliminate, as promised, the occasional case of whooping cough (which, admittedly, can be fatal in very tiny infants, usually with pneumonia, encephalitis, dehydration, otitis, and malnutrition listed as contributory causes of death).

    “So they decided on a drastic plan: inoculate all pregnant women with the DTaP vaccine, hoping that by doing so, the babies would come out of the womb automatically immunized to whooping cough – a scientifically absurd notion.

    “The plan may have sounded plausible to the layperson. It may even have sounded plausible to a health science-oriented bureaucrat or perhaps even to an academic neuroscientist who might have financial conflicts of interest in not revealing what were the real villains in the outbreak. And of course, the plan looked like pure gold to Sanofi Pasteur (the largest corporation in the world devoted entirely to manufacturing and marketing vaccines) and to GlaxoSmithKline (the British mega-pharmaceutical corporation that would be getting the contract for the tens of millions of doses of aluminum-containing DTaP).

    “No well-designed experimental studies were done beforehand to prove that such a strategy would work, much less be safe.” duluthreader.com/articles/2016/02/04/6685_the_zika_virus_outbreak_covering_up_another-1

    February 26, 2016 12:40 pm Reply

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