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Zika virus

The ‘new’ fear and concern for the Rio Olympics

The mosquito that spreads Zika Virus, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephalitis and West Nile Virus.

Zika virus has headlined in the news (January 2016) and it’s being blamed for spreading Microcephaly, a birth defect occurring in thousands of newborn children particularly in Brazil. Although Zika virus is not a killer, it provokes an emotional reaction because the associated spread of Microcephaly affects our ability to reproduce.

“While zika seems to be spreading in the wild, it is also a registered – patented organism that can be purchased by almost anyone, so why has the issue of patent ownership of the Zika virus not been the object of media

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Microcephaly

A neurodevelopment disorder

Microcephaly is a crude label for something that goes wrong during the growth of a foetus which results in a deformity or a failure of the babies head and brain to fully develop.

Because it is something relatively rare and little known the level of understanding is minimal and medical specialists are really best guessing.

The affected newborns generally have a smaller than normal head, possibly symptoms of dwarfism and as they grow they will exhibit neurological defects with severely impaired intellectual development although some impairments may not be apparent until the child is older and attempts to become socialised.

Typically with such children, intellectual disability, impaired motor skills (clumsiness), spasticity and other symptoms have been reported.

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