Scottsdale, Arizona - The Zika virus pandemic has grown to a global health concern. As world health leaders learn more about the mosquito-borne virus that causes birth defects such as microcephaly, more misinformation, especially on the internet, circulates.
Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group Director Dr. Gregory Poland is leading a team to create a vaccine to protect against the Zika virus. He says researchers are working behind the scenes to learn more about the virus, and it's important for the public to be careful where they are getting their information.
Here are four myths about Zika virus:
- This is a conspiracy theory. Wrong. - Dr. Poland says that's irrational and unfounded.
- There is no need for worry. Wrong. - Dr. Poland says that would be untrue. You need to stay informed.
- The medical community understands this virus. Wrong. - Dr. Poland says that there is a lot to learn about the virus.
- The U.S. is not at risk. Wrong. - Dr. Poland says almost certainly Zika will appear in the U.S. The mosquito that carries this virus is found along the southern rim of the US and up the northeast corridor. He says it is a matter of time.
Dr. Poland says, "This is a virus of considerable concern. It is a virus we are learning a lot about, so we cannot tell what all the ramifications are going to be. For reasons we do not understand, this is a virus that is causing severe abnormalities in unborn children and that's unusual for a mosquito-borne virus."
Dr. Poland urges everyone to get information from credible sources such as from Mayo Clinc and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He says the best thing you can do is, "be informed and use common sense."