Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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21

Feb

2016

Zika virus, contraception, and mortal sin

Author: Jim Taylor
A new word has entered our vocabularies – “Zika” -- the mosquito-borne virus first identified in the Zika forest in Uganda in 1947, that has since spread across southern Asia to the Pacific islands, and now to the Americas. What do we actually know about this virus? First, it is carried by the same tropical mosquitoes that carry dengue fever, yellow fever, and the West Nile virus. Second, it is a virus, a primitive form of RNA that can only replicate inside living cells. It is not a germ or a parasite, therefore it is not susceptible to antibiotics. When the virus gets inside living cells, it alters their function. Although there’s no conclusive proof yet, the World Health Organization accepts a link between the Zika virus and microcephaly.
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