Public health campaigns have gone into overdrive as back yards all over the country are searched for standing water which might harbour the larvae of the mosquito responsible for spreading the latest threat to humanity, the Zika virus.
The virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947 but has only been considered a major health risk in the last decade. It only became an issue in the Brazilian media when it was linked to newborn microcephaly cases (a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly).
In August 2015 doctors in Recife started to observe birth defects and the blame was put on the Zika virus, which had been circulating in the area for the last year, despite the fact that Zika had not been linked to microcephaly in its almost 70 year history.
Since then, scientists have been desperately trying to prove the link between Zika and microcephaly despite the fact that Colombia has almost 3,200 cases of the virus in pregnant woman with no reported birth defects. When you combine this with the news that Argentinian researchers have linked the birth defects to a larvicide that the Brazilian Department of Health has been putting in the water supply then it begs the question whether blaming Zika isn’t a smoke screen. This has been denied by the Brazilian government which has stopped using the product but then it would deny poisoning its own population wouldn’t it. And could the reason the WHO is so quick to reinforce the link with Zika have anything to do with the fact that the larvicide was on it’s list of recommended products?
Needless to say that Brazilians are even less keen to be bitten by mosquitoes than they were before and sales of repellent are going through the roof.
All this effort trying to murder or at least avoid being bitten by mosquitoes is very time consuming and an excellent way to avoid writing.