…It’s been 13 months since obstetricians in northeastern Brazil started noticing babies being born with grossly underdeveloped heads. In the months since, it has become apparent that the condition — microcephaly — is just the most visible form of the devastation that the virus can wreak when it infects the fetus.
Let’s explore some of what we’ve learned about Zika over the past year, and some of the most pressing questions that remain to be answered about this unique outbreak….
….This virus has so many tricks up its sleeve. It causes birth defects in babies and neurological conditions such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, a type of temporary paralysis, and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in some adults. We still don’t know, though, how often infection leads to one of these serious problems. There have been other surprises. Zika finds its way into semen and tears and saliva and vaginal fluids — and in some cases stays there for months….
What Does the Public Know and Think About Zika?
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, 2016
Poll findings from 2016 Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Tracking Polls and 2016 Survey of Americans on the U.S. Role in Global Health
Experts Say Stepped-Up Monitoring Is Crucial As Zika’s Threat Lasts Beyond A Baby’s Birth
Source: Shefali Luthra, Kaiser Health News, September 6, 2016
The Status of Funding for Zika: The President’s Request and Congressional Proposals
Source: Adam Wexler, Stephanie Oum, and Jennifer Kates, Kaiser Family Foundation, Issue Brief, September 6, 2016