Brazil has been like a gambler that continues to bust at a blackjack table or a crap shooter that rolls only snake eyes. The country has been in the worst recession in more than 100 years, and inflation and their currency’s devaluation are complicating the recession issue. No one expected that a tiny bug would be the next catastrophe that Brazil would have to face, but the Aedes aegypti mosquito had plans of its own. Besides breeding, the Aedes aegypti mosquito likes to bite humans during the day. That bite transmits the Zika virus to its victims.
The Zika virus isn’t new. The virus has appeared in Asia and Africa over the last 70 years, but it never made its way to the America’s until 2015. That’s when Dr. Sergio Cortes and his medical team started to discover a major outbreak of the disease in the Northeastern state of Paraiba. Dr. Cortes has been posted articles about Zika on his official website since the outbreak.
Zika virus research on sergiocortesoficial.com was non-existent before the Brazilian outbreak. There were less than 20 official cases of the virus before 2015, so medical researchers had to begin from scratch in order to get answers. The first question that had to be answered was how so many people could get the virus if mosquito bites were the only transmission method. The Cortes team sent the information they accumulated to labs in Rio, and the labs confirmed the fact that the virus is in the urine, saliva and semen of infected individuals. When a couple of reports surfaced that women got the virus from their mates during sexual contact, the rapid spread of the disease started to make sense.
The South American strain of the virus was likely being transmitted by human contact, and that sent a bolt of fear through the World Health Organization and people around the world. The Zika virus that infected people in Africa and Asian years ago is a different virus now. Somehow the virus mutated into a new version of itself, and it was capable of producing microcephaly in newborn babies.
Once the news that the Zika virus may be responsible for the outbreak of microcephaly cases in Brazil, researchers around the world discovered another major health issue to solve. Dr. Cortes posts microcephaly information on his LinkedIn page. Cortes also tweets Zika virus updates. And there are comments on his Facebook page about Zika virus cases.