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What the rise of Zika (and other viruses) might tell us about our planet

February 3, 2016

About the Author

photo of John Ross, MD, FIDSA

John Ross, MD, FIDSA, Contributor

Dr. John Ross is an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases, and practices hospital medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is the author … See Full Bio
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February 8, 2016

Can anyone substantiate the sexual transmission theory?

Eva V
February 8, 2016

“In Brazil, it has already infected about 1.5 million people and caused nearly 4,000 cases of microcephaly, a severe birth defect.”

It is premature to say that Zika is causing microcephaly. Colombia has reported thousands of pregnant women with Zika and no microcephaly. In addition, there are thousands of cases of microcephaly reported in the US with no Zika epidemic. What we know for sure is that Brasil has been heavily spraying with insecticides and still uses chemicals that have been phased out in other countries.

An Sarris
February 7, 2016


D Shea
February 6, 2016

Read an interesting article from UK. There are activist in Brazil that are saying the Zika virus has been in Brazil for 70 years! Without problems. The new policy of requiring pregnant women a to receive a version of the Tdp vaccine is the only thing that has changed. This vaccine has not been tested in pregnant women and is not known to be proven safe. And that these activist want that to be addressed as to whether that is the true culprit of the microcephalic babies! Hmmm!

February 8, 2016

In fact, zika virus was detected for the first time in Brazil in May 2015.

February 5, 2016

Better hope you aren’t…it’s becoming clear that the Zika virus has likely been transmitted through sexual contact (blood-semen borne)!!

Changes in weather patterns (precipitation and temperatures) can effect hundreds of things in nature that have a ripple effect. Further, it is clearly documented that certain conditions, particularly the extremes, create havoc in the environment, and specifically certain conditions that insects thrive in. The article does not state that climate change is definitely the reason for the Zika virus becoming such a public health concern, only that it MIGHT be part of a complex sequence of events that has resulted in the current circumstances. That seems very plausible.

Jennifer Graziano
February 5, 2016

This is a very well-thought piece. There is a growing amount of concern which is, in part thanks to digital media, I am glad to see members of my beloved school writing about this!

February 5, 2016

Jack…Read the article more carefully…it discusses a much broader range of factors and variables that MAY have impacted the spread of Zika and other mosquito borne diseases. While 1947 is the currently documented timeframe when Zika was first identified, it is believed that cases outside of Africa did not occur until 2007 when it spread to the South Pacific, 60 years later! Yes, it has been followed, but the recent “epidemic” being described in Brazil MAY be more identifiable because of the likely connection between Zika and the astronomical rates of Microcephaly among newborn children. The Zika virus MAY have mutated the way many viruses can, now causing much more serious illnesses than previously identified. Until public health officials from many countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) track the spread of Zika, much more than climate change remains hypothetical. For more detailed information check bulletins and updates issued by WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

February 5, 2016

Yeah, Charles, and I may be pregnant.

Monique houghton
February 5, 2016

you disappoint me by sending this climate change garbage based on lie after lie I expected more from you cancel my subscription. Monique Houghton

Richard, M.D.
February 5, 2016

To Jack: …….and the moon missions were staged in a warehouse, right?
Richard, M.D.

February 5, 2016

What a bunch of garbage. The Zika virus was indentified in 1947 and has been followed since. Then throw in the climate change foooey! Unmitigated garbage article – just a bunch of unsubstantiated opinions.

Margarita Rozillio
February 5, 2016

How to stop it , to spread?

Commenting has been closed for this post.

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