Zika emerging a greater scourge with each passing day
12 March 2016
New and frightening discoveries about the Zika are being made almost daily, and the threat from the virus seemed to become more serious with each new discovery.
According to Dr Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "there is nothing about Zika control that is quick or easy. The only thing quick is the mosquito bite that can give it to you."
The Zika virus has been declared as by the World Health Organization as a public health emergency, following which it had been linked to paralysis and brain infections in adults, but the horrifying outcomes had been seen in developing fetuses.
A study at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore revealed that Zika infected and killed the very cells that formed the developing brain.
Another study at the University of California at Los Angeles in conjunction with researchers at the Fiocruz Institute in Brazil, found a strong link between Zika and adverse pregnancy outcomes, which had not been documented before, according to Dr Karin Nielsen, the senior author of the study at the UCLA School of Medicine.
A university press release quoted Nielsen as saying, ''We saw problems with the fetus or the pregnancy at eight weeks, 22 weeks, 25 weeks, and we saw problems at 35 weeks. Even if the fetus isn't affected, the virus appears to damage the placenta, which can lead to fetal death."
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico might be on the brink of a massive outbreak of Zika, US health authorities had warned.
According to Frieden, who spoke to reporters on a conference call, he had just returned from a visit to the US territory, and was worried about what he had seen.
"Puerto Rico is on the front lines of the battle against Zika and it is an uphill battle," said Frieden.
"I am very concerned that before the year is out there could be hundreds of thousands of Zika infections in Puerto Rico and thousands of infected pregnant women."