The Zika Virus Vaccine Marathon

There is a race to find a vaccine for the zika virus pandemic; there are teams all around the world desperately trying to find the treatment for this worldwide spread. This amazing movement of these scientist trying any direction they can to find a vaccine will be on for the books.

There are many different approaches on how scientist can make a vaccine some being more riskier than others, I am going educate you about three different categories of vaccine types that are interesting and take different approaches from one another. I will also share their progress points that they are in at today time, to show where scientist are in the exploration to help millions of people all over the world.

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Image From Google Images

The first category of vaccine type is being worked on by many scientists teams, two of which are Takeda and Walter Reed. The base of their vaccine is to use a dead (inactivated) virus, this is how polio, influenza, typhoid, and cholera vaccines are made, making this way of vaccine production safe for human use. A statement from The Race for a Zika Vaccine on The New York Times mentioned “Walter Reed’s candidate entered early clinical trials in this month.” And Sanofi a pharmaceutical company has given the okay for this product to go onto the market. The only negative outcome from making a vaccine of this type is that it can take a long time to produce and perfect sometimes up to ten years.

The next category of a vaccine is a more recent new approach; a team of scientist at the N.I.H are making a DNA vaccine, which is a manufactured non toxic piece of DNA from the virus (zika) made by scientist. The vaccine will be injected into human bodies and the man made DNA will tell our bodies to make zika proteins. In the same New York Time article as above it states “Those proteins then assemble themselves into harmless virus like particles that trick the body into developing antibodies that can fight the disease if it arrives.” This version of the vaccine is expected to start testing any time now. The downside of a DNA vaccine is that it is not approved for human use yet. DNA vaccines have been made for other viruses but have shown to be not effevtive since not all the DNA reaches the nucleus of a cell every time, without the DNA reaching the nucleus the body cannot start to produce the proteins making the vaccine powerless. Vaccines are already being tested in Latin America, since December is the hottest of their summer.

The last vaccine I will be mentioning is being worked on by GlaxoSmithKline and Moderna Therapeutics. A statement from a The New York Time post linked above said “companies are trying a similar method that uses RNA, a molecule in the body that is more flexible than DNA.” RNA carries the same instructions that a DNA would carry in a vaccine.The difference between this vaccine and the DNA vaccine is that the RNA vaccine does not have to enter the nucleus of a cell in order to make the body produce proteins to fight off the virus. This vaccine method is still in their beginning phase.

There are many reasons why scientist want to produce the best vaccine for the zika virus spread some companies are doing it for money, others may be doing it to bring a name to their company, and many are doing it to save lives. No matter what the reason is for it is a race for who can make this vaccine first which is not a bad thing in my eyes. I cannot wait to see how fast this vaccine is made, that will save so many lives all over the world from its horrible side effects on fetuses. We hope to see a vaccine as quick as 2018.

 

Awareness Poster

 

Unknown-4.jpegImage From Google Images

I created my poster to promote not traveling to zika-infested areas, specifically encouraging women between the ages eighteen and thirty five who are in the childbearing age range to not travel to those areas because their health and future child’s health is put into great risk.

This poster has shocking detailed imagery that shows the effects of microcephaly which could happen to your child. This is only just an illustration, but if you had a child that is effected by microcephaly you would noticeably see that they have a much smaller head where their brain would be. This photo not only has a side by side of the an effected child and the none effected child, there is also a dotted circle that creates an empty white space of where there head is supposed to be at and where it is. This points out the conditions in a very noticeable way. The babies faces in the illustration are not expressing a happy or sad emotion in the photo, they just have closed eyes as if they’re sleeping, showing their innocents in this situation that they are born with. This shows the harsh reality of what could happen in a very alarming and blunt, not traveling to infected areas can protect them and their innocents so they can be more healthy.

Now this poster is also color correlated to its self to show whom is reading that there is direction and safety. All images in this poster are white contrasting to the other colors in this poster so if you were not to read anything but one word you could see the that this poster has to do with microcephaly, traveling and misquotes since zika virus is such a hot topic people will be able to apply that as well. Now for the wording in this poster it is all black, any information given on this poster is in black to show its seriousness of the words and to make locating the information easier. The background color of this poster is a bright eye catching yellow color that fuses into a warm orange tone because zika virus mosquitos are mostly found in warm climates and warmer colors give a feel of a more intense situation rather then cool tones that give a calming feeling.

I created this poster to give awareness to women of childbearing age so they know the risk they are taking when they travel to zika virus infested places. The word attention in caps and all black surrounded by white makes it stand out so it can pop out and catch a person’s eye bringing attention to the poster. The airplanes at the bottom shows the viewer that it is not only close destinations but ones far, where you would have to take plane.

My creation is meant to spread knowledge to women of children having ages, the risks they take when they travel to zika virus infested areas, not traveling will increase the health and safety of their future children and traveling to those areas may create a huge health risk for them and especially there future children that will last a life time.

We Need to STOP Spraying Pesticides on Zika Virus Mosquitos

 

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Photo Taken from Google Images

After heavily researching both sides of an argument on whether spraying mosquitos is the most effective way to deal with the zika virus, I have came to the conclusion in which I believe that, spraying land with pesticides to decrease the amount of zika virus carrying mosquitos is not effective because the benefits do not out weigh the negative health risks.

The horrible health risks that the spray causes as mentioned before, in my last article on aerial spraying on mosquitos not effective, naled the chemical used in this spray can cause respiratory problems and other implications that can ultimately resort in death.

Although the pesticide can kill some zika virus carrying mosquitos, further research has shown that the spray can lead to autism. From The Institute For Natural Thinking(INH) webpage, it states that “They looked at an area of New York state. In neighborhoods with aerial spraying, one in 120 children was diagnosed with autism or developmental delays. In areas without aircraft pesticide application, only one in 172 kids had such problems.”This spray relating to autism multiple times is a linked result to the growth of autism in certain cities.

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Photo Taken from Google Images 

In an earlier post called Aerial Spraying Mosquitos, A Key Component I said that spraying for the zika virus reduce both young and adult mosquitos, but now with further research I see that that information is incorrect. On health website I saw that it states “Spraying affects adults, but it does not usually kill the immature forms — the eggs and larvae,’ said [study co-author Dr. Robert] Tesh. As a result, ‘spraying will reduce transmission, but it may not eliminate the virus.” This statement proves my old research incorrect on how the spray helps the zika virus situation.

Government officials need to also stop lying about the powers the pesticides have during the sprays on Miami New Times website there is an article in which points out the lies that the Miami Department of Health have made. When a question came up, asking if the naled is banned in Europe the officials answered back saying “No that is not true.” The answer that the officials gave back is a complete lie and the Miami new times had no problem pointing them out and proving them wrong.

What I would do or like to see if I had control over this situation is have the government realize that this method of disease control is not effective and has many scary side effects that should be listed on their government websites. As well as getting this spray disproved from the FDA and have it no longer used in America just like this way of using pesticides and the chemical naled is not allowed in other countries such as the European union.

The negative situations and problems that come form this spray do not compensate for the good, the government need to realize what is better for us and what will benefit us and not hurt us and that is why I support that spraying mosquitos is not an effective way to deal with the zika virus.

Aerial Spraying on Mosquitos Not Effective

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Photo Taken From Google Images

Even though the days are getting less warmer mosquitos are still coming out and carrying dangerous viruses,  the government has recently decided to manage this factor with aerial spraying over infected areas with a chemical called naled. Opponents believe that aerial spraying mosquitos is not an effective way to deal with the zika virus because the chemicals in the spray are extremely hazardous.

The chemical naled is used to kill the mosquitos along with other insects, because of how toxic this chemical is there is only a need of small amounts when making a solution to spray. A Reason why this chemical is dangerous even for a worker who is making a solution using naled is listed on this government website “Naled can cause cholinesterase inhibition in humans; that is, it can overstimulate the nervous system causing nausea, dizziness, confusion, and at very high exposures (e.g., accidents or major spills), respiratory paralysis and death.” The risk factor of dying when dealing with this chemical is there.

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Photo Taken From Google Images 

Spraying of this chemical is not effective because it also kills the bees, bees already being an endangered insect can not have the risk of getting sprayed with naled due to there low population rate already. This aerial spray conducted at night to assure that the least amount of bees are killed during a spraying is extremely not effective since Flowertown Bee Farm and Supply in Summerville, South Carolina “lost 46 beehives — more than 3 million bees — in mere minutes after the spraying began Sunday morning.” This CNN article reveals the horrible facts of what dangerous power naled spray holds when being sprayed over towns and cities to lower the rate of zika virus holding mosquitos.

This spray can also be poisonous to our plants “University of California researchers showed that naled treatment caused brown lesions in celery and bronzing of strawberries.” This spray being used over food that we consume does not do us any good. If it is hurting the fragile plants and food we put it on then how will it not affect our fragile insides of our bodies?

With that being said naled also effects humans, “according to the Florida Department of Health, ‘it could cause a person to salivate more, feel numbness, headaches, dizziness, tremors, nausea, abdominal cramps, sweating, blurred vision, difficulty breathing and a slowed heartbeat.” This information from a  News source does not fail to mention the harm and effects it can have on your body even when it is only being lightly misted over the infected area.

Along with all the hazardous issues this way of spraying mosquitos is not effective because “experts argue whether or not spraying campaigns are even effective in diminishing mosquito populations, particularly because the insects can live indoors or in small, enclosed areas where spray wouldn’t necessarily reach.” This excerpt from the same source above states how useless spraying an infected area if the mosquitos are not effected by the chemicals but effect the other insects around. This method of containing the pika virus is not effective because of how dangerous it is.

Aerial Spraying Mosquitos, A Key Component

Aerial spraying is a method that is used to spray liquids over large plains of land via airplane. A liquid called naled is loaded into an aircraft so it can be lightly misted over the infected area. The U.S. federal government and state governments support and supply naled pesticide spray for the mosquitos because naled assist in decreasing the rate of zika virus carrying mosquitos helping to suppress the outbreak.

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Photo taken from Google Images

The method of using naled from an airplane has been around since the 1950s, when it was used tremendously and was popular to use and it is not going to change now when it can help change the world.

In the past during outbreaks of diseases from mosquitos the government has used naled to fight back and or that reason we know that it works very well and effectively. “Aerial spraying is used as part of an integrated mosquito control program to quickly reduce the number of mosquitoes responsible for infecting people with viruses like Zika, dengue, or chikungunya.” From this quote from the Centers for disease control and prevention website you can see that this method has worked to control past outbreaks from dengue and chikungunya so it does work to decrease mosquitos.

On the same website it mentions that “Aerial treatment of areas with products that rapidly reduce both young and adult mosquitoes can help to limit the number of mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus. Repeated aerial applications of insecticide has reduced mosquito populations as a part of an integrated mosquito management program.” This statement supports that the spraying of the mosquitos is a effective way to get rid of zika virus carrying mosquitos.

This is why Florida just sprayed infected areas in their state with this pesticide so there can be a reduction of mosquitos carrying the virus. Florida has used the spray in their state before “In 2014, almost 6 million acres of land in Florida was aerial sprayed with Naled by mosquito control programs.” There is only positive implements that come from spraying this pesticide in order to keep americans safe.

Another supporting fact the website states is that this method is one of many that officials could use to help decrease the virus but this method is one that can tremendously reduce the population of mosquitos carrying the virus in vast areas. The zika virus increasingly spreading to new towns and cities need this treatment because it is fast working and gets what needs to be done in a quick amount of time with fast results.

This method is the quickest and is safe to use so there is no reason why it should not be used to control such an effective virus that could give Americans so many problems down the line in life. The government supports this method there for it is safe as well as it is FDA approved.

 

To Spray or Not to Spray Mosquitos

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Photo taken from Google Images

For the next four posts, I want to explore the question of whether spraying mosquitos is the most effective way to deal with the zika virus. Places, like Florida, have recently been sprayed with poison for the mosquitos, Floridians and environmentalists are demanding to halt the usage of chemical sprays drizzled into their air and homes. I want to find out what are the other solutions to help lower the numbers and get rid of mosquitos that are infected with zika virus.

This is an issue now since the zika virus is still trying to be put under control. Places like Florida have been sprayed with chemicals via airplane to kill mosquitos in area. The government is using the spray as a substance to help stop the spread of the zika virus but the citizens in that area are not satisfied because of the power the chemical holds and what it is also doing.

Opponents want to ban chemical sprays to kill mosquitos because of the harmful components in the spray, while supporters want to continue spraying the mosquitos to immediately kill offspring and mosquitos in the area that could possibly be caring zika virus. Naled being the main ingredient in the spray that the citizens are unhappy about, Naled is a chemical that “Affects the enzymes that control muscle contraction” says The New York Time post on the chemical spraying over florida for zika virus control. The same New York Time post stated that “Overdoses can cause vomitng, seizures and loss of consciousness. At extreme doses, from a spill for example, victims lose their ability to breathe, and die.” That is what Naled can do because the chemical is so strong to us humans.

For the supporting side the government is using the spray as a money saving venue to get rid of mosquitos carrying the virus. Brazil making bioengineered misquotes and are planning on releasing them to get rid of the zika virus. Brazil obviously is choosing a new and more expensive route to get rid of zika virus carrying mosquitos.”it’s too early to tell how much the mosquitoes will cost if they are reared on a much larger scale. “It’s only when you roll up your sleeves and build a factory that you know what your costs are.”” but right now the mosquitos are “$1.1 million over 2 years” of cost in the area they are treating.

Naled the chemical they are using in the spray is one killing spray that the mosquitos have not adapted to yet there by making it effective in killing the mosquitos. Sprays already being used and sold in stores are not as effective given some have adapted to the more commonly used chemicals.

The opposing side has come to show that the sprays are also killing other insects such as the bumblebee, “Spraying Naled can kill bees outside of their hives at the time of spraying; therefore, spraying is limited to dawn or dusk when bees are inside their hives.” That statement is coming from a government ran website Centers for Disease Control and Prevention This is extremely harmful to our eco system since bees are already endangered, as stated above not all bees can be saved during the spraying because not all will be in their hives.

 

There are just the same as good and bad reason on whether or not spray pesticides are the best way to deal with the zika virus. The government states that this direction is safe an FDA approved while in correct dosage,but citizens and environmentalist are still not happy with this usage.

Things You May Not Know About the Zika Virus

On NPR KQED Public Radio a airing from Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross has Donald G. McNeil Jr. to guest speak about the zika virus on a radio airing called ‘Nobody Is Immune’: Bracing For Zika’s First Summer In The U.S. Donald G. McNeil Jr. is a reporterfrom The New York Times and has also written a book titled Zika The Emerging Epidemic. The key points this source touched on were how this virus is transmitted, how it could affect a child in the long run and where this virus originated from along with where the U.S. is right now in having a vaccine.
After listening to this radio recording I know my thinking has changed depending on the information given because it has widen my prospective of this virus and how this virus works.
When McNeil Jr. speaks about how this virus is transmitted it was quite interesting when he said that the zika virus can only be transmitted sexually from man to women or man to man, not women to man or women to women. The reason why that is is because the virus can live in the prostate and testes of a man and since it is hard for virus to get into those areas it takes long for viruses to leave.
Another interesting fact dealing with the transmission of the virus is that women who want to breast feed and have been affected with the zika virus are given the green light to breast feed for it has not been found to transmit to a child through breast milk. I find this information very eye opening in the sense on how the virus can be transmitted.
Terry Gross asked Donald G. McNeil Jr., Where was the zika virus first found? And his response was that it was long ago discovered in 1947 in a monkey in the zika forest of Uganda. This virus along with thousands and millions others are discovered by scientist way before they become a problem to human population, the only situation is that scientist do not know when a virus is going to become a problem or ever even become one. This information gives a whole new look on viruses and makes me wonder why a vaccine wasn’t made before hand to stop the spread of this virus, and the answer to that could be that scientist find so many viruses how do they know which ones to make one for.
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Photo taken from Google Images
Mr. McNeil Jr. said a very important piece of information about the development of the zika virus vaccine. “It’ll probably be two, three, four years until there’s a vaccine.  Most scientists who know vaccines say this is a disease that will be relatively easy to make a vaccine for because we have one for yellow fever, we have one for Japanese encephalitis, there’s a new one for dengue. These are all related viruses.” After saying that he says “You could literally take the spines of those vaccine viruses and snip out the genes that code for the outside of the yellow fever virus and attach with DNA technology, the genes for the outside of the Zika virus”
Vaccines have already been made and are being tested which take a minimum of two years to gather data in order to see if the vaccine efficiently works. Ground braking information that the virus has a vaccine made and in testing trial helps me know that the U.S. is taking steps to defeat this virus.
The information given in this radio recording does nothing but give me new information to broaden my ways of thinking on this subject. With this virus being new it is so fascinating to learn new information that I share to educate people about the zika virus.

Getting Tested for the Zika Virus is Harder than You Think

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Photo taken from Google Images
In an article written by Roni Caryn Rabin, Want a Zika Test? It’s Not Easy, on The New York Times, is an article informing us that it is not easy to get the Zika virus test. Real United States citizens are being denied of getting tested for the zika virus because of the back load on the demand for the test. There are now particular guidelines placed in order to get the test, one of which being that you have to be already pregnant and have gone to infected areas outside or inside the United States, or if you’re showing signs that you may have the virus, though most people infected show no symptoms.
Commenters on this article have taken quite a strong stance, most people believe that everyone should have access to take this test, while a smaller percentage of commenters do not see it as a issue that not all Americans have access to this testing upon demand before they are pregnant or show symptoms.
Strong opinions are stated in the commentary section. Pamela B a user that commented on this article mentioned that getting this test as a precaution to see if you should get pregnant is an extent of even being a responsible human, by trying your best to bring a healthy child into this world. This user when she is saying that getting the test/ wanting to take it as a precaution makes someone a responsible person because it is a need to know situation. If you are carrying the zika virus when you are trying to conceive a baby the zika virus can intensely change a fetuses brain development.
Another opinion that stands behind the reason why all Americans should have access to this test is because the U.S. has made Zika such a big safety risk  user by the name of Bss mentioned their concern in the comments on how can Americans not be anxious and worried that they have the virus when zika protection tips and advisory not to visit into zika infected areas is everywhere on the news. It only makes sense to be worried about your own self when contracting the zika virus is a high risk.
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Photo taken from Google Images   
Some commenters have no hold back of their opinions online. A user named Liz has her own mind to speak on why not all Americans should have testing upon demand “Some of us are actively pregnant (20 weeks here), and are still waiting for our own Zika test results. For me, it has been 14 weeks. 14 weeks of waiting, and still no answer. My apologies if I am not deeply sympathetic to those who just wish to plan ahead. First, let’s deal with the backlog of actual pregnant people.” Liz as she just stated has no compassion  towards women who want to get the test before they get pregnant because she already being pregnant is still waiting to hear her results because of the load of patients getting tested.
These users commenting take their opinions to form a majority group of people that believe everyone should have access to zika virus testing. This may not be a possibility that can happen right now, but hopefully more health care providers are given equipment to perform these test and more labs open up where the test can be administrated. This topic of the testing being available to all will probably stay as a debate until the testing is available to everyone upon request.

Rhetorical Analysis: “Doctors Brace for Zika Babies”

 

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Photo taken from Google Images 
In an article called Doctors Brace for Zika Babies written by Perri Klass in The New York Times, the author states that doctors in the United States are preparing for the births of children possibly infected the zika virus or any zika related health concerns. Perri Klass states her point very effectively using elements of unity and writing techniques to support and illustrate her point.
One writing technique Klass uses very well is having credible sources to back up her content in the article. Throughout her piece she hyperlinks eight sources, all of which I checked are credible. When she is mentioning facts and states some statistics of the number of  zika virus cases in the united states, that were published not to long ago she hyperlinks the words latest statistics to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention page.
” as of Sept. 15, list 1,348 pregnant women with “any  laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection” in United States territories and 749 in United States.”
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Photo taken from Google Images
The quote above is from Klass’s article which is credible because it came from a credible source, the statistics above are all mentioned on the webpage hyperlinked to this information, a government ran website.
She also organizes her piece adequately using elements of unity making her article flow flawlessly. Klass uses repetition throughout this article she says zika 14 times, pediatric 13 times,and children 13 times.she uses repetition as a element of unity to keep the organization and so the readers can comprehend the material said. Using repetition helps to build up organization as well as categorizing, since she says of a lot of medical lingo such as “pediatric, neonatology, neurology, ophthalmology, and  orthopedics”. These informative health lingo can give information and build into the categories of words that help shape the organization, as it correctly builds off the paragraph previous to it.
Another effective tactic she uses is making her piece media friendly. Being media friendly is a must on all websites and media pages. People as lazy as Americans come do not want to read one big hunk looking article. Readers want to read something that looks like less reading anyway it could still be all the same information, but sense the piece is so broken up it looks like less reading as well as less intimidating to readers.
I counted that her article is broke up into eighteen paragraphs having a substantial amount of white space. She has broken up each paragraph so that each paragraph has a new type information or stat in it, making it eye catching for readers to continue reading on. Another thing she does being media friendly is singling out important information into their own paragraphs/ sentences from the paragraph above it. Klass touching on the zika virus a fresh and new problem to the researchers in the United States. This is a situation I have a problem with but I am trying to adjust to it, since being media friendly is all new to me.
Klass is touching on the zika virus, a fresh and new problem to the researchers in the United States . Klass touches on just the right amount of information to inform their reader and is great at organizing  her work effectively. She is a writer on The New York Times for all the reasons mentioned above along with many others. Experienced writers use multiple types of writing strategies to help shape up their pieces and Klass is an experienced writer that demonstrates these qualities so well, making her a credible source to retain information from.

 

The Zika virus coming to a town near you

The Zika virus, which first appeared in 2015 in Latin America, the Gulf States, and the Caribbean areas, has now taken on a bigger horizon into the United States. This virus, not yet having a cure or vaccination shot is causing problems all over the world but most recently the United States. Mosquitos love to buzz around where the weather is nice and hot so it is no wonder why they have become so popular in the news lately and these past couple of months.
I believe that everyone should be further educated on the Zika Virus, anywhere from prevention to getting the virus because you never know when the Zika virus is coming to a town near you.
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Photo taken from Google Images
Information about the Zika Virus is very important to know about because it can infect anybody from men to women and even to an unborn child in a pregnant woman’s body. This virus being able to infect anyone is an issue because there is a world full of human beings and soon to be human beings that can get infected. The more awareness raised about the Zika virus the better because then people can take more precaution to not get infected.
Many people do not know much about the Zika virus because it is only now coming into the United States. As stated before a year ago from this time now, approximately last years 2015 summer, the Zika virus was first only appearing in Latin America, the Gulf States, and the Caribbean areas; so it was not as urgent for United States researchers to lay down the groundwork to find a cure or vaccination of some type. Times have changed and a year has gone by, now its summer 2016 and there have been cases of the Zika virus in the United States, places such as Florida and New York.  There are precautions you can take as of right now at home to stop the contracting/spreading of the Zika virus:
  1. If pregnant do not go to locations where Zika virus have been found.
  2. Another if you are pregnant or is sexually active, please use a condom when having intercourse with your partner; if yourself or your partner has visited places where Zika virus have been found or traveled outside of the country to a place where Zika is. This precaution is to be taken because the virus can be transmitted sexually.
  3. Last tip is to wear more long sleeve clothing/ clothing that covers more surface area of the skin.
These are only a few of the at home precautions you can make to withhold from the Zika virus.
Some questions I have for this topic that I would eventually want to know the answer about would be quite a few things but the top questions are the following. The first question would be, how close are we to finding a cure? Another question would be how long does this virus live in your body? And what in the Zika virus leads to the harm of babies while in the womb of their mother who has contracted the virus? These are just three questions that I have about the Zika virus, though I wish to learn much more so I can share it with you all.