Friday, January 29, 2016

Zika Virus

So for the 2 people that read this, please read this first:

 For pregnant women anywhere warm, tropical, and full of mosquitos, the Zika virus is THE talk around here.  I understand the potential freak out.  I mean, what IF you get bit and that mosquito that carries Zika bites you?  You could have POTENTIALLY changed your baby's genes and they COULD develop microcephaly...

So all that said, you could also DIE in pregnancy.  I mean, that is rough, but the statistics are actually greater for women dying in childbirth. "Sadly, over 600 women die each year in the United States as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications." (CDC website)


Anyway, I found this statistic.  This is an estimate of cases of microcephaly in the US:
407 per year, 33 per month, 7 per week, 1 per day, 0 per hour, 0 per minute, 0 per second. [Source statistic for calculation: "1.02 per 10,000 births in the UK 2002 for microcephaly (University of Ulster, 2003)"

For a country the size of Brazil (200 million), they only had 150 cases reported last year of microcephaly.  Okay, that seems small for a country with the same total fertility rate as the US. (1.86 births/woman.)

I know this is a lot of numbers.

Brazil births: 2,830,458 (2012)
US births: 3,958,000 (2012)

With just those UK average numbers, the estimates for REPORTED (now this is important because there are A LOT of births in Brazil that go unreported due to geographical area):

Brazil : 288.7 cases/year of microcephaly.  That is significantly lower than the thousands of cases they are seeing now.
US: 403

The most interesting part of all this is how the demographics, politics, economic shift (from not traveling to those regions) and eventual shift in birth rates (due to some countries asking women not to get pregnant for two years).

Also, I wonder if many of these cases could have been prevented with mosquito spray and bug repellent.  A lot of these areas that cases are being reported in high numbers are areas where those may not be able to afford bug repellent.  There is so much that we don't know, I am trying to be level headed about it and not go overboard.

I hope and pray that while we're here we avoid Zika, Dengue, and Chikagunya.  All are nasty viruses. Our non-deet bug repellent works great and it's safe for babies too.

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