A disturbing new virus is currently wreaking havoc in Brazil, and officials warn that it could spread to the U.S. imminently.
According to News Sky, scientists say the devastating Zika virus may have already crossed over to the common mosquito, meaning it will very likely spread worldwide. The Brazilian government is currently in panic mode as they struggle to contain this enormous public health disaster.
Experts suspect that this virus is linked to 4,000 babies who were born with brain deformities in Brazil this past year. The government has deployed troops and healthcare workers to the streets to try to contain the virus, but so far their efforts have been in vain.
At first, scientists believed it was the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is confined to the tropics, that was spreading the disease. However, scientists at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Recife, Pernambuco State think the common mosquito may be the cause. Lead research scientist Constancia Ayres has warned that if her suspicions are confirmed, the global impact could be disastrous.
“It means much more combined efforts from a lot of other countries are going to be needed to combat this virus,” she said.
Dr Vanessa Van Der Linden, from the Barao de Lucena Hospital in Recife, was the first person to spot the connection between Zika virus and a spike in the increase in microcephaly births, a devastating condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads.
“I saw three cases of microcephaly in one day last August when normally I would see one maybe every three months,” she said. “It was very strange.”
Linden went on to say that so little is known about the virus that doctors are learning “as we go along.”
There is no cure or vaccine for this virus at this time.
“We just don’t know much about this virus at all. The mothers ask me ,’Will it get better? Will my baby’s head grow?” said Dr. Angela Rocha, who has seen more than 300 microcephaly cases in the last five months. “And I have to tell them ‘no, it’s never going to get better.'”
All we can do is pray that this virus is contained, and that it doesn’t spread to the US.