Indian Scientist Were Aware Of The Zika Virus In The 1950s According To Brazilian Doctor Sergio Cortes
The Zika virus has been around for more than 65 years. The first reported case of the virus was in Uganda in 1947. African researchers didn’t think much of the virus back then because the symptoms were so mild. Africa is the home of more deadly viruses, so a virus that only causes fever, body aches and a rash doesn’t get a lot of attention in African countries. Money is spent to research other health issues like malaria, and Ebola.
When the virus reached Thailand, the alarm that the Zika virus was more than a virus that caused flu-like symptoms, was silent. But when the Zika virus reached India, Indian scientist took notice. The Indian Council of Medical Research recently said scientists in India stored the virus in labs in the 1950s, according to Brazil’s chief medical advisor, Doctor Sergio Cortes.
Dr. Cortes has been investigating the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil for almost a year. On the Dr. Cortes website, there are numerous articles about the Zika virus and the amount of research that has been done over the last 60 years. Cortes was not aware of the Indian research until recently, according to a post on his LinkedIn page.
The vial that contained the virus was stored but never examine in India. When a researcher did decide to examine the virus, it was dead, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research. India has recently stepped up its surveillance of the Zika virus due to the number of cases that are being reported around the world. The Indian Council said their scientists are now working on a vaccine for the virus even though there are no cases of Zika in India now.
The thought of going through a spring and summer in the Northern hemisphere without a vaccine for the Zika virus has people in a state of panic. According to a recent Facebook post, Dr. Cortes thinks any woman in the United States that is thinking of becoming pregnant should wait at least six months before conception. Cortes bases his opinion on the amount of infected pregnant women in Brazil that are at high risk of delivering a baby with microcephaly.
Dr. Sergio explained what microcephaly does to the brains of fetuses in a recent tweet. No mother wants to give birth to a baby with an unusually small head, and brain damage, but the Zika virus can make that happen, according to Dr. Cortes.
There are many unanswered questions about the Zika virus and how long it stays in bodily fluids. Some researchers believe the virus may lie dormant in some people, and may come alive and cause serious illnesses in the future.