The CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal reports the finding of novel zoonotic species of Bartonella, the organism responsible for several chronic infectious diseases in man. This adds to the increasing awareness and growing evidence that there is more than what meets the eye when it comes to understanding the zoonotic potential and pathogen emergence as more and more microbes, traditionally thought to be disease causing in animals, are easily jumping across the species barriers to affect man.
For the first post on my new blog, I will not reach out too far and in fact, go with what has captured the imagination of the media of late: Zika virus. As it emerged that women who have been exposed to the mild viral disease in course of their pregnancy are at risk of giving birth to children with microcephaly, national policy makers came out with statements asking women to refrain from becoming pregnant till the thing blew over. An article in The Lancet covered this issue and brought to fore the massive inequities that exist in women’s healthcare needs and reproductive (health) rights – some issues which were ironically uncovered by a disease that went on to earn the status of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern!