The Zika virus has caught the world’s attention for the past few months after causing many deaths and birth defects in babies. However, the fact that a virus could cause that much damage is no news to many families.
For decades pregnant women feel the threat of getting infected by the cytomegalovirus (CMV). Despite all consequences of a CMV infection and the fact that the virus is well-known, there is still no cure neither investments to prevent this virus from spreading.
In the beginning of this month, Nature website posted a critique about the attention the Zika virus has draught. Specially considering the social bias the Zika proliferation boosted.
The Zika virus obviously present a major threat to public health. However, the CMV virus has been neglected even though it presents similar consequences and danger. Nature post did not take away the importance of discussing the Zika virus spread. It only questioned our stand on worrying a lot about a “third world” disease while we have been sweeping under the rug similar problems.
Nevertheless, even on the darkest moments we can still find light. Personalities involved in the CMV prevention and research see a glimmer of hope coming from all panic caused by the Zika virus.
“Birth defects are not high on the public-health agenda. Zika is an opportunity.” Stanley Plotkin, retired scientist who developed the current vaccine against rubella.
“Zika has become a way to open up conversations about CMV.” Janelle Greenlee, co-founder of the CMV foundation.
The Zika virus discussion has gone so wide that other studies on malformation in babies can be benefited. The CMV virus is still a big issue to be solved. However, as new researches on Zika virus develop, we may find out a way to stop many other patogens and maybe exterminate malformation issues.
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