Jan 25, 2016

The Zika virus foreshadows our dystopian climate future

Colombia
Brazil
El Salvador
Jamaica
Venezuela
by
Bill McKibben
,
The Guardian
A home in El Salvador being fumigated to prevent the spread of the Zika virus. Photo: Marvin Recinos, AFP/Getty Images
A home in El Salvador being fumigated to prevent the spread of the Zika virus. Photo: Marvin Recinos, AFP/Getty Images

Spread by mosquitoes whose range inexorably expands as the climate warms, Zika causes mild flu-like symptoms. But pregnant women bitten by the wrong mosquito are liable to give birth to babies with shrunken heads. Brazil last year recorded 4,000 cases of this “microcephaly”. As of today, authorities in Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, El Salvador and Venezuela were urging women to avoid getting pregnant.