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 Post subject: Re: Zika virus
PostPosted: Wed May 18, '16, 3:18 pm 
Silver_Surfer1 wrote:I absolutely think we need something to help against this awful virus, if there is anything. And, if it costs a whole lot of money, so be it. It will be money well spent as far as I am concerned.


Among the things that could be done are research and development for a vaccine, which is probably the long term solution. The shorter term solution is better mosquito control, whether it be through pesticides (potentially controversial for a number of reasons, also possibly a case of the cure ultimately being worse than the disease) or getting rid of their breeding grounds. Or, even more controversial (for reasons that I mostly think I pretty scientifically unfounded) genetically modified mosquitoes that are sterile and put a stop on mosquito breeding cycles. Also, better support systems for families that are caring for children with microcephaly...or really, any other severe defect that affects the individual for life.

Silver_Surfer1 wrote:However, it just amazes me that politicians are always ready to spend billions and billions of dollars to fight something like this. Why can't we also spend billions and billions of dollars to help end the homeless problem so that no child or senior or any such person will be homeless and have to sleep on the streets or wherever? Why can't we also spend billions and billions of dollars to help our veterans that fought for our country and may need our help now but can't get it for whatever reason? Why can't we spend billions and billions of dollars to help fund the Social Security program for seniors and others who have worked all their lives and paid into the fund along the way so that it would be there for them when they are no longer able to work instead of saying it just won't be there?

Why?


Simply put, because these are "silent" crises that are very easy to ignore as they fade into the background, become ubiquitous and just part of the landscape. They also don't directly affect a lot of people, so a lot of people just (sadly) don't care. And thus, they become easy to ignore for most people. Zika is in the news and is taking the spotlight of attention and a politician wants to look like they're doing something about it (though of course, no actual bill has passed Congress yet, but proposals are out there). And Zika virus, nor the mosquitoes that spread it, care at all about who they affect and are totally indiscriminate. With these "silent" crises you don't really have that rallying effect. Sad, and maybe I'm cynical, but there's some truth to that. Granted, each of those issues is their own can of worms that as soon as you open said can things get a lot more complicated than they seem on the surface.

And may I add climate change to the list of things that we're ignoring at our great peril, and will probably continue to ignore until Florida completely disappears under the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean.


Last edited by Wolf Bird on Wed May 18, '16, 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zika virus
PostPosted: Thu May 26, '16, 7:03 pm 
Last Friday, the CDC announced around 270 lab-tested cases of Zika among pregnant women in the US and its territories.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shot ... zika-virus

That number is probably going to rise. And unfortunately (call me a pessimist), I don't think it will be too long before we start hearing about increasing cases of microcephaly, particularly in the south where the Aedes mosquitoes that carry the virus are more common.

http://www.cdc.gov/zika/vector/range.html

Especially since Congress doesn't want to get its act together on this, and is instead trying to use this to gut EPA regulations on pesticides. Pesticides are a temporary solution, at best, and somewhat of a case of cure being worse than disease since pesticides carry their own risks without careful application. Mosquitoes can quickly become resistant to them, the same way bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. Sure, they can be part of a (temporary) solution, but we also need to do other things for mosquito control (remove their breeding grounds) and develop effective medicines or a vaccine against the virus.


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 Post subject: Re: Zika virus
PostPosted: Fri May 27, '16, 3:00 am 
This Zika virus thing is really worrisome expecially now that summer and warm weather (mosquito weather) has arrived here in the US. I remember reading about the possible threats to pregnant women, etc., and that is really scary. However, I can't remember if it has been said anywhere about how this virus may, or may not, affect people who are not pregnant such as Men, children, the elderly, etc. Anyone know?


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 Post subject: Re: Zika virus
PostPosted: Fri May 27, '16, 6:07 am 
Silver_Surfer1 wrote: I remember reading about the possible threats to pregnant women, etc., and that is really scary.


The worst threat isn't to pregnant women, directly - it's to their unborn children. I posted a couple articles in this thread about how the virus does what it does to the developing nervous system during gestation, which results in microcephaly (and sometimes miscarriage), so you can check those out.

Silver_Surfer1 wrote:However, I can't remember if it has been said anywhere about how this virus may, or may not, affect people who are not pregnant such as Men, children, the elderly, etc. Anyone know?


Outside pregnant women and their unborn children, Zika infection is usually asymptomatic, or produce only mild symptoms like rash, fever, headache and other things that are common to many many acute, mild infections. However, those symptoms are also shared by dengue fever and chikungunya, two other viral infections carried by the same mosquitoes, that are a lot more severe for the general population. And unfortunately those two diseases, like Zika, have the potential to spread beyond their usual tropical ranges, thanks to climate change allowing their vectors to move further north and south.

http://www.cdc.gov/zika/symptoms/

However, there seems to be some evidence that Zika can trigger an autoimmune reaction on the nervous system known as Guillan-Barre syndrome, in which the immune system attacks the nervous system, causing weakness and sometimes paralysis. The link is inconclusive right now, nowhere near as strong as Zika's link to microcephaly, but is being investigated.

http://www.cdc.gov/zika/about/gbs-qa.html

All of that comes with a big fat caveat - Zika is a virus, and viruses can be extremely good and unpredictable at mutating.


Last edited by Wolf Bird on Fri May 27, '16, 6:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zika virus
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, '16, 3:59 pm 
Some interesting and positive discoveries announced yesterday regarding the Zika virus, and the dengue virus, and a possible vaccine sometime in the future:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/sci ... cid=AARDHP


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 Post subject: Re: Zika virus
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, '16, 4:27 pm 
Every step is good, but as the article itself says, a vaccine is probably a long ways off. Another benefit of the Zika outbreak is more people are finally paying attention to dengue as well, which is pretty severe and endemic in the tropics.


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 Post subject: Re: Zika virus
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, '16, 9:30 pm 
Read an article on the Zika virus recently. What are everyone's thoughts about this?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016 ... /94079718/


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 Post subject: Re: Zika virus
PostPosted: Tue May 16, '17, 7:56 pm 
Well, I read a story online about the Zika virus the other day and possible cause of it, and was shocked to find out today that the story is totally untrue, etc. Not really that shocked because I take anything I read online with a grain of salt, etc. But was wondering if anyone else had read this story:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/zik ... 0245c79f7c

I am glad to find out that it is not a true story. Weird how these false stories get started online.

Lesson learned .... Always search things out for yourself to find the real truth!


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