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The Zika virus, largely concentrated in Latin America and the Caribbean, has drifted out of the news since last summer, but with a mild winter behind us, and mosquito season coming, there are concerns, especially in southern states. A Johns Hopkins University researcher recently estimated the cost of a mild Zika outbreak (about 7,000 cases) at more than $183 million and the cost of a more severe one (700,000 infections) at more than $1.2 billion. Most people have mild or no obvious effects from Zika, but infections in pregnant women can result in major birth defects in their babies. Adults can also suffer from Guillain-Barré syndrome. Dr. John Cmar of Sinai Hospital is a specialist in infectious diseases and provides some perspective on Zika and other arboviruses — that is, diseases spread by bugs, mosquitoes and ticks.
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