World health experts are saying the Zika virus is scarier than we original thought. Dr. Mark Rupp is a professor of internal medicine, Infectious Disease Division at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and says we’ve known about the Zika virus since the 1940’s but has not been well studied. He says we are starting to understand it has real problems in pregnancy and can cause microcephaly in babies and other birth defects. He says they are now looking to see if the virus causes complications in adults.
Dr. Rupp says, “There is signal out there it can cause a rare nuro-muscular disease called Guillain-Barre Syndrome, paralysis. And then there is a demyelinating disease that again we are just starting to see reports that looks like Multiple Sclerosis.”
Dr. Rupp says don’t think this is really going to take off because there is no other animal reservoir like what we saw in West Nile virus where it was also seen in horses and birds. However, people still need to take precautions against mosquito bites and use repellent, keep standing water off their property and wear long sleeves and pants. He is also encouraged by work being done to genetically modify mosquitos so they can’t breed or if they do the offspring die immediately.