By Nicholas Whitt |Staff Writer|
Hide your kids!
Hide your wife!
Hide your husband!
A virus called Zika (just like Ebola and the swine flu) is coming to take us all away—or that’s what the media is telling us. However, I disagree.
The media is only using this virus as a means of getting traffic on their website because in fact, the virus is not a big deal—AT ALL—at least in the U.S.
Within the past month there have been a total of 52 Zika virus cases in the U.S., all of them are from people traveling in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands, according to Center for Disease Control (CDC).
There has not be a single case yet of someone acquiring it locally in the U.S.; so as long as you do not take a family vacation, you will be a’okay.
Zika is an RNA virus related to the West Nile, yellow fever, and dengue viruses, and caused by the bite of the Aedes mosquito, according to Dr. Peter Jay Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Furthermore, there is something different about Zika compared to the other terrifying viruses that were not a threat at all to the U.S.
Common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes), according to the CDC.
If you think about it, those are not severe symptoms at all. Especially since people do not usually get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die due to the Zika virus, according to the CDC.
Pregnant women who have the Zika virus can transmit it to their unborn children, causing birth defects.
“We’re seeing illness when it strikes women who are pregnant, and it’s producing a horrific effect of Microcephaly,” said Hotez.
Hotez continued, “We don’t know when in pregnancy the consequences are greatest.”
Microcephaly may cause mental retardation, as well as delays in speech, movement, and growth, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Now, don’t worry. I know this sounds very alarming, and you are probably thinking you must check if you have it before you and your significant other try to be adventurous.
Relax, take a chill pill.
Remember, there has not been a single reported Zika virus being locally borne in the U.S. The 52 cases are by means of traveling to the areas outside the U.S. that have it, according to the CDC.
The virus was first discovered in 1947 in a rhesus macaque in the Zika forest in Uganda, according to Dr. Jennifer J. Brown, of genetics at the State University of New York and senior editor at Everyday Health.
The virus has been known for more than 50 years and only now getting coverage.
Yeah, the U.S. is in a “real” state of emergency with this one.
One could argue that there is currently no cure available, but just like Ebola, there wasn’t until the U.S actually had an interest in even making a cure due to it hitting U.S. citizens—in my opinion.
According to Sarah Boseley, health editor of the Guardian, they had a potential cure that was successful in curing victims of Ebola more than a month prior to its recognition by the media.
If it was not for it being a little too expensive to freely give out, the virus most likely would have been contained before even being considered an epidemic.
The media knows this too, yet they still want to strike fear into everyone’s heart with this non-lethal, non-threatening virus.
“I went home for the presidents day weekend and all my family talked about was this stupid virus,” said student Jose Rodriguez.
Rodriguez continued, “the media needs to stop causing this much concern for the public when in reality it will never impact the U.S enough for this much coverage of it.”
The media needs to stop giving people more to fear about.
We have bills to pay and families to take care of—we do not need to worry about a virus that will not affect us at all.