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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 20 October 2017 > A Scarier Zika

A Scarier Zika

A single mutation may make the virus more devastating to newborns



THE ABNORMALLY SMALL HEADS seen among children infected with the Zika virus have haunted many of the people who live in regions where mosquitoes carry the pathogen, including the U.S., South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. It turns out that a single genetic change in the virus may be responsible.

The defect, known as microcephaly, wreaks all kinds of physical and developmental havoc. Children with microcephaly may have seizures, hearing loss, difficulty seeing or mov- ing, and may not learn to sit, stand or walk at the same rate as other children. They may also have intel- lectual disabilities. At least 3,000 children around the world have been born with microcephaly or another Zika-related brain birth defect.

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PAIN KILLERS How the VA fueled The Opioid Crisis and destroyed the lives of thousands of vets. Suicides are the widespread despair behind them are yet another tragic element of a national opioid crisis blamed for most of the sixty four thousand fatal drug overdoses a year. Opioids, mostly illegally obtained counterfeit pills and heroin, now account for 63 percent of all drug deaths in the U.S., with fatalities climbing at an astounding rate of nearly twenty percent a year. In fact, the estimated number of drug deaths in 2016 topped the total number of soldiers killed in the Iraq and Vietnam wars.