STATES CHRONICLE – The world is a cruel, devastating place. For every good thing happening, there are other, horrible things going on just outside our field of vision. For example, there is a mosquito-borne microcephaly-causing virus running rampant throughout Latin America.
The reported cases surrounding the terrible affliction that is microcephaly were quite rare up to 2015, with only 200 cases reported throughout 2014.
However, following a very sudden rise in the epidemiology of the Zika virus sometime in early 2015, there have about 3,000 cases of the affliction this past year.
With so many babies being affected, and with a very large percentage of them dying, some of the most severely hit areas are in a state of emergency.
Microcephaly is a terrible condition affecting newborns, a debilitating neurological illness which causes them to develop an abnormally small brain.
Most infants affected with the neurological disorder die, and those that don’t usually suffer from life-long cognitive impairment as a lasting effect of the sickness.
Cases are usually rare, but they have been associated with a sudden rise in the frequency of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.
The Zika virus started an epidemic in Brazil in early 2015, which is horrible news, as there is no vaccine or cure for it.
Generally, the virus is not that dangerous – at least not in adults or children. Children and fully grown humans infected with the Zika virus usually suffer from fevers and red rashes, but some even remain symptomless.
The truly horrifying part is that the virus has been found in the placentas of infants born with microcephaly. Additionally, most mothers of recently affected microcephalic babies reported Zika symptoms in the early stages of their pregnancy.
Although other epidemics of the virus were seen around the world, microcephaly was never attributed to any of them.
This would lead to two different scenarios – either the virus evolved and developed a whole new set of symptoms, or scientists just never thought of associating the Zika epidemics with an increase in the number of microcephaly cases.
With both choices sounding as unlikely as the other, researchers looking into the epidemic are currently baffled by what’s happening.
Even worse is that the disease has started to spread outside of Brazil, reaching Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Puerto Rico and even Mexico, among many other countries.
Officials are warning about the very likely spread to the Unites States, as some cases were already encountered in airline passengers travelling home from the affected locations.
Since there are no known ways to prevent or treat the disease, the only advice the CDC can give is to follow the traditional mosquito-repelling techniques.
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