Over the past week, a number of scientists and bio-ethicists expressed deep concern that holding the Olympics this summer in Rio de Janeiro could enable the Zika virus to spread far and wide.
I caught up with one of the world’s leading experts on Zika, Dr. Peter Hotez and put the question to him. Among other affiliations, Dr. Hotez is dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of medicine, where he is also a professor of pediatrics and molecular & virology and microbiology, and president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. He describes why these fears are largely overblown and unfounded. Instead, he argues that we should really be focusing our attention on the spread of Zika to the Caribbean and Southern United states.
In this conversation, Dr. Hotez explains to us laypeople why Rio is actually no longer a hotbed for Zika. (It’s science, but it’s easily understandable). He also explains why dithering in congress over providing funding for mosquito control could have potentially catastrophic consequences for people living in the Gulf of Mexico.
This is Dr. Hotez’s second time on the podcast. In January, just as Zika was coming on people’s radars, he discussed the impending epidemic and explained why the scientific community was largely caught flat footed by it.