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Climate Change behind Zika Virus outbreak

January 28, 2016 6:05 PM |

Climate Change behind spread of Zika Virus outbreakClimate Change is mainly responsible for the spread of Zika virus outbreak. Global warming and climate change have been known to cause several weather catastrophes in the last few years. Floods, storms, droughts and failed harvests have become a common phenomenon.

However, the worst effect has been the spread of the Zika virus wreaking havoc over several parts of South America. The virus has until now affected 25 countries and is likely to affect many more American countries. Zika is spread by mosquitoes whose range expand due to warm temperatures. The virus is responsible for flu-like symptoms in people.

However, the hardest hit section consist of pregnant women. If these mosquitoes end up biting women who are expecting, the outcome can be as worse as a neurological birth disorder resulting in babies being born with shrunken heads. During the last year, Brazil recorded 4,000 such cases.

So much so that the authorities in Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia and El Salvador have been strongly recommending women to avoid getting pregnant. Colombian health authorities say that women should postpone their pregnancy until the epidemic phase of the virus is finally over.

Authorities have also urged American women who are expecting or planning a pregnancy to avoid travelling to 20 Caribbean and Latin American countries. A woman from Hawaii, who was exposed in Brazil, has given birth to a microcephalic baby. As many as ten Americans have also been affected by the virus after an overseas trip.

While it was hard to imagine the world unsafe to deliver a baby a few decades ago, climate change has converted that fear into a reality.

Image Credit: huffpost.com

 


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