Written by Leanna Westerhof. DM by Rachel Koehnemann.
Here we go again. Another virus outbreak. I’m beginning to lose track of all of the new virus scares. We certainly should not be indifferent to those who are suffering, but is this situation being blown out of proportion?
The Zika virus can be spread through mosquito bites or unprotected sex if a partner has already been infected. How do we prevent mosquito bites? By wearing bug spray or long-sleeve shirts and pants. Another safety tip, be sure to avoid areas with still-standing water because mosquitos are more common there.
There have been moderate to severe cases of this virus. For women who are pregnant with their unborn children, the virus can cause birth defects. In some cases, these defects can even lead to death. Currently, there are active cases particularly in the United States in Florida, South America, and Puerto Rico as well as some other countries. Reported cases of the Zika virus have been happening since 2007, but we are just starting to hear more about it because of the significant number of outbreaks in the U.S. we’ve been having lately.
My question is, why are we panicking? We are at risk for this virus and I don’t want to negate or be insensitive to families who are suffering, but why don’t we react this way when other countries are affected by diseases and/or hunger? Or the millions of orphaned children in the world? Even Americans are dying from hunger and/or homelessness. Around 19.9 million Americans live in poverty and they are considered rich by some standards.
People often turn to the United States and its government for protection in cases such as this. Citizens want to know that the government is putting forth their best efforts to combat the Zika virus and its effects. However, many are upset because they aren’t receiving a straight answer from their doctors on a cure. Doctors have little to say except “cover up and wear bug repellant.” The reason being is that the United States hasn’t spent enough time researching the virus to come up with a cure or vaccination. We are behind on knowledge of the virus because it hasn’t been an overt problem until now, and is therefore just permeating our radar.
So, are people just scared and overreacting to this Zika virus? Or is it a serious problem where the government should be taking precautions to prevent any further harm? As of right now, all that we can do is stay informed and be aware of how the media is portraying the virus. Be conscious. Be smart. Always question everything.