The Zika Virus may have already crossed over to the common mosquito. Scientists in Brazil are about a month away of confirming whether the Zeka Virus is also carried and transmitted by the more common Culex Mosquito.
Culex mosquitoes are 20 times the population of Aedes aegypti, and more widespread in most of America, parts of Africa and Asia.
Little is known of the Zika Virus that is linked to over 3,000 babies born with microcephaly. Zika was first isolated in African monkeys in 1947. It is a flavivirus (a genus of viruses), in the same family as dengue and chikungunya.
The Zika Virus is linked to the startling outbreak in Brazil, with 3-4 million people infected in fewer than 12 months. Plus a 20 to 30 fold surge in the birth of children with microcephaly.
In many of these cases, the RNA (acid) from the virus was isolated both in mother and child. Currently, there are no cures, antivirals or vaccines available. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommend serial ultrasounds of high risk pregnant women.
The risk of microcephaly in women infected during pregnancy is up to 1%. The pregnancy is usually normal and newborns may appear like uninfected babies. However, in the first year, the baby will develop the features of microcephaly. Also part of the clinical picture are hearing and visual impairments, mental retardation and diminished life expectancy.
To-date 22 countries are currently affected and that number is increasing. The virus crossing over to the Common Mosquito will see an explosion in those infected, once the warmer weather gets here.
What is Microcephaly?
Simply stated, microcephaly is a small head. The head circumference is abnormally low (in the bottom 3% for age and sex). A small head means a small brain! Children with microcephaly have cognitive dysfunction and are at risk of seizures. In addition to the very unpleasant symptoms mentioned already.
According to the CDC, normally 2 to 12 out of 10,000 live births develop microcephaly. It is an extremely rare disease.
The possibility of this virus crossing over to other, more widespread mosquitoes, presents a global public health emergency.
With regards to North America, the colder weather in Canada makes the virus less likely to spread that far north. However climate change may change all that.
In 2014 Brazil, Tdap (Tetenus-Diphtheria-Pertussis) was recommended for all pregnant women in Brazil. Further details are scant.
Of note for the conspiracy theorists, Tdap was used in pregnant women throughout the world for a number of years withOUT a surge in children born with microcephaly.
Brazil started deploying GMO mosquitos to reduce the natural mosquitoe population. Scientists in Brazil have focused on the Zika virus as being linked to microcephaly. If so, then the cross over to the common mosquito puts the rest of the World at risk.
Until we know more, exercise caution.
Any readers with more information are most welcomed to share…
Zika Virus May Have Spread To Common Mosquito:
Zika virus in Brazil may be mutated strain:
UN health agency convenes emergency meeting to address ‘dramatic’ spread of Zika virus:
The Conspiracy Theory:
A Mosquito Net Descends Across the Americas: