Zika Virus has wreaked havoc in Brazil in recent times and is rapidly raising the spectre of a global pandemic. It has also resurfaced in India. In June 2017, three individuals in Ahmedabad were found infected. The ensuing panic was compounded by lack of knowledge and, worse, by conflicting and confusing information.
The Secret Life of Zika Virus cuts through the noise and misinformation to present an in-depth, comprehensive biography of Zika Virus and to answer these questions: What is Zika Virus? Where did it come from? When did it get here? Why is it suddenly so dangerous? How does it affect the body? How does it spread? And why should a mosquito which is already, very efficiently, spreading Dengue and Chikungunya decide to acquire and transmit Zika?
Drawing extensively on history, as well as on scientific data and research—both archival and current—this book examines the nature of viruses, how they evolved, how they co-exist with and affect humans and other animals. It traces linkages between virus and vector, and the role of the mosquito in carrying and spreading Zika as well as other deadly viruses. It also explores the ongoing explosion of Zika Virus infections in Brazil—and the crippling deformities it causes in newborns—its connection with the widespread destruction of the rainforest in the country, and the lessons for us, especially as urbanization in India increases exponentially.
One of the best works of popular science from India in recent years, The Secret Life of Zika Virus is a necessary book for our times, and crucial to arming ourselves with information relating to our own health.