The Lancet has just released online an important study about the occurrence of microcephaly in Brazil and its relationship to maternal Zika viral illnesses. “Congenital Zika virus syndrome in Brazil: a case series of the first 1501 live births with complete investigation”  presents the first analysis of the medical records and associated data from the microcephaly reports investigated by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. The data is a significant addition to what is known about the situation in Brazil. The study’s authors, however, raise some questions and their conclusions may not be well supported by their data.
Leprosy is a disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. While long recognized in humans, infections in various species of animals are less well known and understood. The U.S. National Hansen’s Disease Program states “Armadillos are the only other known natural hosts of leprosy bacteria.” That may not be true.
The Harvard Public Health Review has published a piece titled “Off the Podium: Why Public Health Concerns for Global Spread of Zika Virus Means That Rio de Janeiro’s 2016 Olympic Games Must Not Proceed.” The author is Amir Attaran, DPhil, LLB, MS. Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa. I believe he is incorrect and the facts bolster that belief. The Rio Olympics should not be cancelled due to any risk from Zika.