This article published on May 26th by CBS news talks about a recent spike in babies born with Zika virus related birth defects in Cameron County, Texas. Last year, according to the CDC 64 babies in the US were born with Zika virus related birth defects, while this year in Cameron County, 15 women have already tested positive for the Zika virus. Zika is a virus that spreads via mosquitoes and through sexual intercourse and can cause birth defects, such as microcephaly. What is especially worrying about these numbers is that the mosquito season has not even begun yet - while we are still seeing an increased number of women testing positive with the virus. Texas county calls for health departments to raise awareness about the virus, its severity and how to protect oneself. Since the beginning of last year, the CDC reported 5,223 Zika virus cases, which may only represent a fraction of actual infections as only a fifth of all infections causes symptoms. The biggest concern for CDC is travellers carrying the virus asymptomatically and spread it to the rest of the US.
- Helen Majer