How Zika fever became an internet meme

August 7th, 2018 continues to be a memorable day in medical history. The Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease that has been decimating Latin American populations for several years, was linked to the rare brain…

How Zika fever became an internet meme

August 7th, 2018 continues to be a memorable day in medical history.

The Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease that has been decimating Latin American populations for several years, was linked to the rare brain defect microcephaly during a routine CVS MinuteClinic test, simply because the men that carried the virus in their blood showed abnormal brain and neurological scans.

The story’s coverage captured headlines across the globe, prompting a hubbub of news coverage (see the Washington Post’s coverage), calls for federal investigation (the CDC’s top director is now under House investigation for possibly misleading the public), and plenty of debate over who -and how – to prevent further disease outbreaks and infections.

After three major breakthroughs in the past four years, the “Zika Virus is Here to Stay” story – as popularized by a heated debate on Twitter – appears finally to be at an end.

But for the spammers who accused doctors of purposely spreading false information about Zika in the name of profit and promotion – at least in some instances – perhaps it was the start of another.

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