Zika Myth Debunked: It Does Not Spread Through Cough


The rigorous anti-Zika efforts being taken by health authorities around the world fall flat if people in affected countries are surrounded by a number of Zika myths. A recent study conducted by a team of researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health revealed that many Americans are surrounded by Zika myths and do not even know the basic facts about the Zika virus. The study revealed that while 87 percent of the people know that Zika infection is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, there are many Americans who believe that it can slowly spread through coughing, sneezing or cold. This is particularly concerning, considering the fact that Zika is spreading fast across the Americas and is expected to reach continental US during the summers.Like us on Facebook Zika Virus In Panama: Birth Defects Tied To The Uncontrollable Virus The researchers conducted the study in collaboration with a team from the National Public Health Information Coalition. The survey was conducted on a group of 1,275 American adults. “These misperceptions about Zika virus transmission could lead people to take unnecessary or inappropriate precautions, as we have seen in other kinds of outbreaks,” said Gillian SteelFisher of the Harvard Chan School, reports USA Today. The survey population also included subjects from households where someone was either pregnant or was planning a pregnancy in the near future. The team found that 23 percent of such individuals did not know about the possible link between Zika and microcephaly, a rare birth disorder in which babies are born with unusually smaller heads due to incomplete brain development. This is particularly concerning, especially for the health of the mothers and their babies who are yet to arrive in this world. The co-occurrence of the Zika outbreak along with a surge in the cases of microcephaly in Brazil has led researchers to believe that there could be a link between the two. Even though the link has not been proved yet, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued strict guidelines for pregnant women in Zika-affected regions and those traveling to such countries around the world. Photo Sources: Flickr, Wikimedia