Personal Health

Why the Panic Surrounding Zika Seems Less Contained Than the Virus Itself

There appears to be a bit of an overreaction in the making on the part of states.

Photo Credit: France TV/Dailymotion

Is the panic surrounding the Zika disease really warranted? We've been told that the mosquito-borne virus has no cure, causes deformities in babies, can be sexually transmitted, and can only be stopped by a fish that will eat its larvae.
 
Watch a media analysis of Zika:
 
It's been called everything from "guerrilla warfare" to a potentially "explosive pandemic."
 
Zika is actually not new, though. It has been found in parts of Africa and South East Asia as early as the 1950s. There is no scientific proof to date that kissing or exchanging other bodily fluids will spread the virus. The World Health Organization also said that there is growing evidence linking Zika to microcephaly, but that WHO will continue to proceed as if the association is causal, or “guilty until proven innocent” for both microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome.
 
Zika has spread throughout Latin America in the past months. Because of the possibility of a link to microcephaly in babies, the Catholic Church may embrace contraception to fight the Zika virus.
 
Although Cuba has yet to detect a case of Zika, President Raul Castro called on all Cubans to help eradicate the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus and ordered 9,000 army troops to help stave off the disease today. 
 
Watch: Cuba mobilizes security forces to prevent Zika outbreak:
 

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
[x]
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Activism
Drugs
Economy
Education
Environment
Food
Media
World