|Aedes Aegypti Mosquito|
As we have learned in our Health class, viruses usually have control over a large portion of the world. Originally breaking out in Brazil, the Zika virus has spread to Africa, South Africa, and is found in Central and South America. This virus is transmitted from being bit by an Aedis Aegypti Mosquito, and carriers can transfer it to others through sexual contact. Currently the CDC has issued travel alerts for 24 countries where the Zika virus is common.
The known symptoms include fever, rash, and joint pain. However, the scariest symptom that is causing distress is the association of the virus with microcephaly birth defect cases which results in malformed heads of the baby, causing serious developmental delays and possibly even death. Because of this, pregnant women are being heavily advised to avoid traveling to affected countries. Currently, there is no vaccine or medication that can cure this virus.
There has been talk of the affect that this virus will have on the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, including Hope Solo's concern of Olympic athletes contracting this virus. It seems to me that this virus is extremely dangerous, as it could lead to the ruined life of a child. Rio has already spent millions of dollars preparing for this Olympics, but I would definitely be concerned with the huge amount of people visiting at the same time. However, the World Health Organization ensures that Zika will recede in time for the Olympics.
Would you travel to Brazil as an athlete knowing the prevalence of the virus? And how to you think the Zika virus will affect the Games?
Also, on a more controversial note, the Pope Francis has stated that using contraceptives to prevent pregnancy is permissible against Zika, but maintains abortion is an absolute evil.
Thoughts on this point of view?