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.
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