Following months of speculation, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed that the Zika virus can cause microcephaly in newborns, a condition that leaves the brain underdeveloped.
Scientists are finding multiple mutations of the virus, which leaves open the possibility of other health outcomes.
“The Zika virus has undergone significant genetic changes in the past 70 years,”
said Genhong Cheng, a microbiology professor at UCLA, in an NBC report. “By
tracing its genetic mutations, we aimed to understand how the virus is transmitted from person to person and how it causes different types of disease.”
Researchers now believe the strain of Zika affecting the Americas originated in Asia.
The outbreak is causing Christian organizations to recalculate the risk of their summer short-term mission trips. Most plan to keep their commitments.
“We have many students, especially in the summer time, who do missions all around the world, and I’ve not seen any decline in that because of the Zika virus,” said Nathan Taylor, university and missions minister at First Baptist Church in Starkville. “Honestly, that’s not been talked about as far as missions go at all.”
Pray for the ongoing Zika research and for the safety of scores of
short-term mission volunteers who will be in Central and South America this
The article above is a simple summary of these news articles:
CNN: Zika virus definitely causes birth defects, CDC says
NBC News: Zika Virus Mutation May Explain Spread: Study
The Clarion-Ledger: Miss. missions continue despite Zika virus