The country that imported 4,000 cuban medics two years ago faces another health crisis:
With its introduction into Brazil and other countries in the Americas, including Colombia, El Salvador and Mexico, Zika is following a pattern similar to other mosquito-borne viruses that are riding speedily to new parts of the world.
The virus is carried by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus species, the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue and a similar disease, chikungunya. Those mosquitoes populate the southern U.S., Caribbean, Central and South America, Dr. Powers said.
The size of the Brazilian outbreak may be the reason health authorities are finding unusual neurological symptoms and disorders for the first time, she said.
Another reason may be a mutation in the virus, she said, adding that scientists are studying genetic sequences to look at whether changes have occurred that could lead to these disorders.
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The Zika virus first surfaced in Africa in the late 1940s, and has hopscotched to Southeast Asia, the Western Pacific and more recently to Latin America. Exactly how it reached Brazil, why it is spreading so fast and how it became such a threat to developing fetuses isn’t yet understood. Brazilian health officials don’t know the exact number of adults infected with the Zika virus because the vast majority of them don’t receive hospital treatment
Brazil is scheduled to host the 2016 Olympics. Now may be a good time to reconsider DDT.