Can we call Captain Buzz a pandemic, yet? If so, I'm puzzled as to why it remains such a quiet one:
Three new cases of the Zika virus were confirmed in Florida today, bringing [the] total there to ninety-nine, State health officials say.
The new cases were reported in Martin and Palm Beach counties, and there was also one case of a pregnant woman. The State’s health department does not stipulate the county in the case of pregnant women. State health officials also extended its Declaration of Public Health Emergency to include Martin County.
Of the cases reported in Florida, three people are still exhibiting symptoms. Symptoms include rash, fever and joint pain. Symptoms of the virus last between seven to ten days.
Maybe it's a quiet pandemic because while it can cause serious health effects and birth defects, it has low morbidity and is not directly communicable from person to person - yet, anyway. Just under a hundred cases in a State of just under twenty million people suck for those ninety-nine people, but it's not panic-inducing.
But Zika is spreading awfully fast, and the risk with viruses is always the mutational capability. At what point does it become communicable from person to person? And become lethal? That would make its possible spread functionally unlimited.
The last full-fledged pandemic was ninety-eight years ago. One of these bugs over the past decade - Captain Chirps (H1N1), Captain Oinks (H1N5), or Captain Buzz (Zika) or the next one is going to be that one for which they keep saying we're overdue. But which one?
There are 426 reported cases of Zika in the U.S. so far. All were contracted overseas - again, for now.