A virus infection which causes the brain of new born to shrink has assumed epidemic proportion in Brazil. The virus called ZIKA which previously was only found in forest monkeys now affects human beings.
Zika virus was first discovered about 70 years ago in African monkeys but first noticed in human population in 2007 in Yap Island where about 11,000 residents were affected from there it went to Tahiti and French Polynesia and in may 2015 reached Brazil.
An autopsy of a child who died of microcephaly showed the Zika virus in the brain; this was traced to the mother, which means the virus passes from mother to the child in the womb.
The infection has also been found in Cape Verde in West Africa and Honduras in Central America.
Like most virus infections, it has no cure but the spread can be controlled by destroying the mosquitoes that carry the virus, Brazil is doing just that.
West Africans and Central Americans to please note.