Most North Americans and South Americans didn’t know what the Zika virus was until about nine months ago. But the Zika virus is not a new disease. Africans in Uganda, Tanzania and Sierra Leone have been coming down with the symptoms of the Zika virus for the last seven decades. People in Thailand and India have known about the disease since the 1950s. The sad news is, there has never been a vaccine made to prevent the disease from spreading.
Brazil didn’t report its first case of the Zika virus until 2015. Right around that time, cases of the rare birth defect microcephaly were reported in same Northern towns in Brazil. The Ministry of Health, under the leadership of Dr. Sergio Cortes, put the two conditions together and the government put an alert out that said pregnant women in Northern Brazil may be especially venerable to the Zika virus because of the extensive breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti mosquito in that area of the country.
Dr. Cortes and his team went to work to prevent the spread of the virus. His team of researchers are trying to produce a vaccine. The World Health Organization also put out a travel alert that warned people to stay away from the Northern towns in Brazil. Dr. Cortes wasn’t convinced that the Zika virus and microcephaly were related. More studies got underway in order to stop the fear that was causing people in North and South America to panic at the mention of the Zika virus.
On his website, Dr. Cortes writes about the symptoms of the Zika virus and how long the symptoms last. He also writes about microcephaly and the potential cause of that disease. Cortes now believes that Zika and microcephaly are not as related as once thought. New information about crop-spraying with the Monsanto product, Pyriproxyfen, may be the cause of microcephaly. Pyriproxyfen causes a defect in new born mosquitoes, and that defect reduces the mosquito populations.
Dr, Cortes thinks there is a strong relationship between the Monsanto product and the increase in birth defects in the towns where Pyriproxyfen, is used to control the mosquito population, but more study is needed to confirm that theory.
For more information about the Zika virus and microcephaly visit the Dr. Cortes official site or his LinkedIn page. Facebook users can friend him on that social media site. And Twitter users can tweet Cortes.