Public health officials used their strongest language to date in warning about a Zika outbreak in the United States, as the Obama administration lobbied Congress for $1.9 billion to combat the mosquito-borne virus.
“Most of what we’ve learned is not reassuring,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought.”
Scientists in Brazil have uncovered a new brain disorder associated with Zika infections in adults: an autoimmune syndrome called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, or ADEM, that attacks the brain and spinal cord.
Zika has already been linked with the autoimmune disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome, which attacks peripheral nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, causing temporary paralysis that can in some cases require patients to rely on respirators for breathing.
The new discovery now shows Zika may provoke an immune attack on the central nervous system as well.
Here in New York City, we’ve been battling mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus.
And have been waiting for Chikungunya — which can also have last effects — to appear.
Now we have to worry about Zika too.
I hope it’s never possible for one mosquito to carry all three.