Some Brazilian Experts Question Zika, Microcephaly Link; Outbreak Spurs Sanitation, Mosquito-Control Efforts

Associated Press: Some experts contend Brazil is exaggerating Zika crisis
“Often drowned out by the dire warnings and fear surrounding Zika, some medical professionals are saying that Brazil and international health officials have prematurely declared a link between the virus and what appears to be a surge in birth defects. A few even argue that the Brazilian government is being irresponsible, given that a connection hasn’t been scientifically proven between the mosquito-borne virus and the birth defect known as microcephaly, which causes infants to be born with abnormally small heads…” (Barchfield/Prengaman, 2/25).

Inter Press Service: Zika Epidemic Offers Sanitation a Chance in Brazil
“Three decades of dengue fever epidemic did not manage to awaken a sense of urgency in Brazil regarding the need for improving and expanding basic sanitation. But the recent surge in cases of microcephaly in newborns, associated with the Zika virus, apparently has…” (Osava, 2/26).

USA TODAY: Go on patrol with ‘Zika police’ in Rio de Janeiro
“…In the middle-class neighborhood of Maracana, where the opening and closing ceremony of the Olympics will be held in August, a tiny man carrying a clipboard and a container of anti-larvae powder is flanked by four soldiers in military uniform. These are the ‘Zika police,’ as they have come to be known by locals, one of many health inspection squads roaming Brazil’s towns and cities, going door to door to try to raise education against a virus that is causing domestic and international alarm…” (Rogers/Pelit, 2/25).

USA TODAY: Brazilians dispute link between Zika virus, birth defects
“International health experts and the Brazilian government have declared ‘war’ on the Zika virus, but as the condition threatens to spread globally another battle is being waged. Medical and public opinion in Brazil, where the Zika outbreak took its most worrisome turn when being linked to severe birth defects, is fiercely split on the issue, leading to confusion and fear…” (Rogers/Pelit, 2/25).

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