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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Captain Buzz Reaches America

by JASmius

Well, now, that didn't take long at all, did it?:

The first known case of Zika virus transmission in the United States was reported in Texas on Tuesday by local health officials, who said it was contracted through sexual contact and not the bite of a mosquito, a day after the World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency.

Dallas County Health and Human Services said it received confirmation of the case in Dallas from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A Dallas County health official said in a tweet that the case was transmitted through sexual contact with someone who had traveled to Venezuela. The person infected did not travel to the South American country, county health officials said.

County authorities said there were no reports of the virus being locally transmitted by mosquitoes in the Texas county.

Yet.  But according to this map....

....that's pretty much just a matter of time anyway.

A CDC spokesman confirmed the results of a test for Zika infection but said local officials investigated the mode of transmission.

Previously, international health officials had noted one case of possible person-to-person sexual transmission. But the Pan American Health Organization said more evidence was needed to confirm sexual contact as a means of Zika transmission.

Looks like they've got it now.  As do we.

The WHO has said the virus, linked to severe birth defects in Brazil, has been spreading rapidly in the Americas and could infect four million people.

....for starters.  Fortunately the Zika virus isn't lethal, or even directly debilitating, but it is related to dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile viruses, and causes a mild form of dengue fever.  It is treated by rest and cannot yet be prevented by drugs or vaccines. Additionally, there is a possible link between Zika fever and microcephaly - brainlessless - in newborn babies by mother-to-child transmission, as well as a stronger one with neurologic conditions in infected adults, including cases of the Guillain–BarrĂ© syndrome - which can be life-threatening.

One more reason, as with all STDs, to "keep it in one's pants" outside of monogamous marriage.  And, with the ubiquity of mosquitoes, even that's no guarantee.

This coming summer should prove very "interesting" for yet another unwanted reason.

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