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Yet again we have been blindsided by an emerging virus

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ANOTHER year, another emerging tropical disease. Zika virus, which has caused thousands of severe birth defects in Brazil, is fanning out across the western hemisphere and appears capable of invading nearly all countries in the Americas (see “The rise of Zika“). Other continents could be next.

Until recently, the mosquito-borne virus caused sporadic human cases in parts of Africa and South-East Asia (see “Did Zika’s recent mutations let it explode as a global threat?“). It now joins a rogues’ gallery of obscure viruses that have shot to global notoriety, including HIV, Ebola, SARS, West Nile, MERS, dengue and chikungunya.

Given how often we find ourselves in this situation – and the near-certainty that we will find ourselves in it again – you would think that the public health response would be a well-oiled machine by now. But yet again we have been blindsided.

Zika’s practice run in French Polynesia in 2013 should have been a warning. Its rampage across Brazil before spreading to a dozen other countries in the Americas has virologists frantically designing research, but there has been precious little public health response besides warnings to avoid pregnancy, mosquitoes or both. There is no sign of a crash programme to develop the most effective response of all – a vaccine.

The slow response to the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa was roundly and rightly criticised (see “UK Ebola failing“). But the guardians of the world’s public health ultimately redeemed themselves somewhat by creating, testing and distributing a vaccine in record time – albeit still a bit too late.

Zika isn’t as dangerous as Ebola, but it isn’t a virus to take lightly. Where is the effort to replicate the Ebola vaccine initiative for Zika? And looking down the line, how do we prepare for the next virus to come burbling out of an animal reservoir somewhere?

Yet again, a once-obscure emerging virus has gone halfway around the world before the health authorities have got their boots on. They can, and must, do better.


Zeph 3:17 Jehovah your God is in the midst of you. As a mighty One, he will save. He will exult over you with rejoicing. He will become silent in his love. He will be joyful over you with happy cries....... Love it....a beautiful word picture.

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There have been reports it can be spread by other means apart from the mosquito, such as sexual contact.  If so, then even living in non-tropical areas where the mosquito carriers inhabit won't necessarily spare us.  Again, following Bible principles will help us to avoid contracting it if not in an area with the mosquitos.


In the last few days cases have been reported in other places such as in Perth.  This person had returned from a trip to South America, where he had contracted the virus.  It has the potential to be spread to others through sexual means.


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I heard today, via the radio, that it can even be spread through saliva. 


Sooo, what does that mean exactly outside of no intimate kissing unless it's your marriage mate? No hand shaking because you don't know if they've wiped their mouth? Etc? I'm  serious without trying to be phobic. 


One day while talking with a man about a product he was selling (something like a flea market), an old neighbor saw me, she reached over and gave a quick hello kiss on the cheek, said a few words in greeting and was gone. Turning back to the man about his product, he very sternly told me not to let that happen again as he knew someone who got sick from a kiss. Was he exaggerating? Perhaps. Then perhaps not. I thanked him though.


Living in the times we are we can't be too careful. I know of a sister who refuses to shake hands with men. Hygiene reasons? Probably. 


Perilous times we're living in!


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and no kissing!!!


reuters.com : Brazil finds Zika in saliva, urine; expert warns against kissing
Scientists identified the Zika virus in the saliva and urine of two infected patients,
a top Brazilian biomedical research institution said on Friday,
prompting its president to urge pregnant women not to kiss strangers just as local carnival celebrations begin.
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I just listened to a podcast by a group of virologists on this...

There is a difference between transmissible and transmitted  when it comes to body fluids...

One gal said since the emphasis is on women getting pregnant  with the virus ...that there was a 3 letter word missing from the warning "men" .

That the virus is the same virus that was from Yap island .. But there were no spikes in microcephaly.. So they are not sure if the spike in Brazil and the virus are directly related.

What will it do for the Olympics..  They will probably have a blanket of pesticide over all the events which is probably more harmful than the virus.. 

The release of male mosquitoes that have a reproductive  malfunction have worked for some sorts of  viral transmission in cattle... Many times it is just one species of mosquitos like   Aedes aegypti .. Which  transmits yellow fever and dengue fever.. Originally only found on the Nile river in Eygpt 


Notice the white markings on the legs ... That is Aedes aegypti 

Interesting that Copepods and guppies have been used in Vietnam to control the mosquitoe larva.. So that yellow fever is way down and eliminated in certain areas ... 

Edited by Lance

Zeph 3:17 Jehovah your God is in the midst of you. As a mighty One, he will save. He will exult over you with rejoicing. He will become silent in his love. He will be joyful over you with happy cries....... Love it....a beautiful word picture.

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On 2/8/2016 at 0:55 PM, trottigy said:

What will they do with the Olympics in Brazil?

Between the bad water in Rio and now the Zika outbreak, it doesn't bode well for the health of those attending.   It will be interesting to see what happens.


1 hour ago, Samira said:

be careful....don't get pregnant....:D


LOL.  We don't have to worry about that.  Also, since there are no mosquitoes right now in the middle of winter, this outbreak really isn't a threat to the community.

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No mosquitoes eh? Well, don't be too sure of that. For at least none that you see. I say that because one time last month I saw one, a baby but there he was. Oh I figured that maybe he got lost on the way down South with his family, lol, but he was there. Where? In the vestibule of my lobby near the door.

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