The Zika Virus has been making headlines with claims of birth defects and “explosive” outbreaks in the Americas. It’s important to realize that our understanding of Zika and it’s side effects is still in it’s infancy.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control both have pages dedicated to the virus, it’s effects are still seeming to elude scientists. There’s minimal understanding of the incubation period, transmission, duration of symptoms, and who will be affected by symptoms. Symptoms of Zika include: fever, rash, muscle/joint pain, and conjunctivitis and according to the CDC fatalities are rare.
Thus far, the disease is primarily transmitted through mosquitoes. There have been a handful of reports of transmission through blood and sexual contact.
There is also links being reported to Guillain-Barre syndrome (BGS) and microcephaly in new borns.
It’s important to note that these links have not been fully established, nor scientifically proven yet. Numerous reports have surfaced from the New York Times, Washington Post, Breitbart, and Buzzfeed about the virus and that a side affect is microcephaly despite the basis for which being virtually nonexistent. Currently the The Journal of the American Medical association labels the link a “possibility” as do most reports on Zika, as well as the CDC.
“Most concerning is a possible association between Zika virus and microcephaly in Brazil and, retrospectively, in French Polynesia.”
– The Journal of the American Medical Association
This link was made when Brazilian doctors noticed a spike in microcephaly in women who had Zika, however not all of the children of mothers with Zika have microcephaly, as well as a few cases of microcephaly happened to women without Zika. It is important to note, that extensive testing is currently underway to try to establish a connection between the two, and it is a possibility, but as far as the science goes, it’s a far possibility. It can be transferred to an infant in the womb, however this is rare according to the CDC.
Planned Parenthood ramped up it’s marketing complex in Brazil, and is encouraging women who test positive to receive abortions, however currently in Brazil, abortions are not legal unless the child is developing anencephaly, the mothers life is in dangers, or in special cases of extreme rape. Women’s rights advocates are beginning a new campaign against Brazil’s Supreme Court in order to allow for abortions in cases of microcephaly.
With the debate now ignited, it’s becoming a little more evident why the push for microcephaly to be linked to Zika virus is all over the mainstream media.
While the media is choosing to highlight a sketchy theory as opposed to fact, it’s important to note, Zika is still a nasty virus.
In order to protect yourself, we recommend consulting a physician first. Then, if you’re already used to using bug spray, use it to keep mosquitoes away. You should be pretty safe from Zika entirely.