9th Reading Forum

The Zika Epidemic Article Response Forum

Please post your response as a reply to this discussion. Your response needs to be posted by class time on Thursday, April 7.

Below are the prompts for the response:

How do you feel about the affected areas telling women to avoid getting pregnant? How reasonable is this request?

What do you think of the plan to genetically modify mosquitoes as a way to kill them?

If you were an Olympic athlete, how comfortable would you be performing in the Games this August in Rio?

To receive credit, your response must contain the following:

1) A direct quotation from the article to support one of your answers, and

2) A direct reference to someone else's response, either in agreement or disagreement.

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  • I think that telling women in these areas to not get pregnant is a good idea, as it would stop the disease from spreading more. It should make all those in these regions happier in the long run, as them and their kids will be safe. Nate summed up my thoughts pretty well with “Why would you have a child that's going to die and suffer." It would only cause more sadness to the family.

    Mosquitoes are a very important part of the food chain, especially their larvae, which are aquatic and are used by many other organisms. I think that causing a mass genocide of mosquitoes would do more harm than good, considering how important larvae are. Even though they do a lot in the water, they don’t do anything for us on the surface. Trying to keep the population of dangerous mosquitoes lower than current levels would be a good option, but how they’d be able to do it is beyond me.

    If I was a participant or a spectator in the Olympics, I would be quite scared of what could happen. I would have to be very careful of my health if I were an athlete, so I’d probably think twice of going, even if it’s the biggest sporting event of the year. I’m not an athlete, and likely never will be, and don’t know how much money is on stake, so I’m not the most qualified to judge on what to do.
  • I feel like telling a woman to avoid getting pregnant is a bunch of crap, if a woman wants to get pregnant she can. I think the plan to kill the mosquitos is a good idea because it could kill a lot of the larva so it will reduce the mosquito population.

    If I was an Olympic athlete I don’t think that I would be comfortable to perform the games in Rio in August. “Their eggs can literally survive in a bottle cap of water.” I agree with Mr. Polking that it would be uncomfortable to perform the Games in Rio because of the Zika virus.
  • I think telling women to not get pregnant is unfair. You are pretty much taking a piece out of their life. Woman are here to make babies and populate the world. We tell women they can't the world will decrease in population.
    I don't agree with the mosquito genetically killing them. I honestly think it will not work. This is a disease that is obviously not going to just give of because of genetics.
    If I were someone in the olympics I would feel very honored and happy I am there. But at the same time nervous for performing. But then also be nervous that I could catch this disease.
    ¨President obama has asked for $1.8 billion in emergency funding from congress to help speed the vaccine work and fight the zika epidemic.” I agree with obama on getting money fast to fix this.
    I agree with Mr. Polking that “any sort of newly emergent virus is frightening, especially one that causes microcephaly.” Its a short life and when something comes unexpectedly you are concerned.
  • "Women living in the center of the epidemic have been told to avoid geting pregnant for up to two years."I thinks its reasonable, because if you are trying to get rid of a Zika virus and people keep spreading it. Even if its not a good idea how else can they stop the virus from spreading if it spreads through Pregnancy and mosquitoes. I think that how they will enforce it, will be a different story. They can keep on saying don't get pregnant, but they will probable close all hospital birth rooms. People need to think about and know what that type of mosquito does to the environment before killing them off. Throwing off the Eco system could does more harm to people then the Zika will.

    I don't think that I would go their because if I contract it and give it to others or the people all around give it to others it will be like a Black Death. They can just change where the Olympic is any way and have it some where safe. I would compete if they were able to kill off all or most of the misquotes carting the Zika virus.
  • I think that the areas shouldn't tell women what to do. They could have told them that if they do get pregnant with Zika it can kill the baby. But not to say you cant have a baby there isn't right if they want to take that risk let then its there choice.

    I think that that the "Robo-Frankenstein mosquito" is a good idea, because it kills the mosquitoes that carry diseases like Zika. Then I think it is also a bad idea because we cant take out all the mosquitoes because they have a purpose.

    I would feel pretty comfortable because they said that most of it was contain"Brazilian officials have reassured visitors that Zika is under control but there is still the chance so I think if I was an athlete I would go to Rio.

    I disagree with Hannah as she said that the "Robo-Frankenstein mosquito" wasn't a good idea because it kill almost all of the aedes aegypti species
  • I feel like they are being really stupid because it's a natural thing and you can't necessarily tell someone not to get pregnant. Sometimes it's by force, how are you supposed to know what is going on? Yes, I understand that they don't want anymore kids to grow up having a bigger disability than others but still.
    I honestly think it’s a stupid invention because they could possibly not saying they will, but they could possibly mess up the making of the “Labeled the “Robo-Frankenstein mosquito” by its detractors, the GM mosquito successfully wied out 99 percent of the target population when it was released into Brazil’s streets during a 2011 experiment.” I mean, it’s a smart idea of making it to kill the eggs and the mosquitoes that are causing this, but how will the robot know what and what not to kill?
    I would not play, I would stay home or I would have them make a dome over us so that nothing like bugs or any insect could get in because I wouldn’t want to die because of a disease infected insect. Or I would make it to where we could go somewhere where we didn’t have any of this going around and play their.
    I agree with Nate Fox on the pregnant women thing but I somewhat disagree with him, you try telling an almost pregnant women or even a wanting to be pregnant women that she can’t get pregnant. I’m pretty sure she is going to tell you different and still get pregnant. Some of the women might take your advise but others won't.
  • I think that asking a woman not to get pregnant is the smartest thing to do. You don't really know how they are feeling about this it's almost a relief considering it would keep you and your future children safe. One downside is that they could (Assuming ‘they’ are a couple) have been trying to have a kid for years and now they are postponing it even further. It is reasonable though because I know I wouldn't want my kid born with a disease that I could have prevented. That would be awful to me.

    I think that genetically modifying mosquitoes as a way to kill them would be a smarter thing to do. It’s like killed two birds with one stone. Like the article claim stated “ Labeled the “Robo-Frankenstein mosquito” by its detractors, the GM mosquito successfully wiped out 99 percent of the target population when it was released into Brazil’s streets during a 2011 experiment.” That is huge to me 99%! Now I'm not saying let's’ get rid of all the mosquitos in the world just the big ones that carry the virus.

    If I were an Olympic athlete I don't think that I would be comfortable at all performing in the games. To me that’s asking a little much. I mean I am already going to Rio and now I just learned that I could potentially contract a disease that could harm a child if I were to get pregnant. I would not be okay with that.
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    • I agree with Nate, their is no point, if all thats going to happen, is that the child will die. Its to keep the rest of the people and babies safe from the virus, because if they killed all of the Zika mosquitoes, it wouldn't matter because it will have infected more people. The idea of killing most or all of a mosquitoes race, is a good and bad idea, good get rid of the virus carrier, bad, what effects will it have on the ecosystem.
  • To me, I think that telling the women to avoid getting pregnant is a reasonable request. With how many other women giving birth to babies with microcephaly, why would you risk it? However, I do understand the want to get pregnant if the woman doesn’t have a lot of time left, due to menopause or having very little eggs left. If they would wait two years, for certain women, maybe having a baby wouldn’t even be an option anymore. However, waiting to have a baby overall is very reasonable to ask. I can see how people in those areas would be wanting women to wait due to the danger of birth defects.

    I feel as if creating genetically modified mosquitoes is a very dangerous idea. It’s a smart idea overall, as it would wipe out the disease carriers. But then again, what are the effects of wiping out the disease carrying mosquitoes? “None of us want to be known for creating some kind of disaster.” Since the effects of doing this are not known, being able to actually do it with no regrets is impossible. In my opinion, the first things scientists should do from here is try to find out the effects of wiping out those other mosquitos.

    At my age, I would be semi-comfortable playing in the games. I wouldn’t be too scared of contracting the disease, since it’d be winter. But once I got back I would immediately get tested for Zika. Since I’m not trying to get pregnant anytime soon in the future, I feel as if I wouldn’t be as scared as other women, but still more scared to get it than men would be.

    I agree with what Polking said about women being more uncertain to go to the games. There’s a higher risk of danger for women, in my opinion.
  • Any sort of newly emergent virus is frightening, especially one that causes microcephaly. Thus, I understand governments in the affected areas wanting to avoid birth defects by minimizing births. However, is that fair to women who may only have a small window of time in which to become pregnant? Is it even enforceable? As the article states, this "guidance" has "sparked a passionate debate about contraception and abortion in the predominantly Roman Catholic region." Given the Church's influence in these regions, such a mandate might lead to more abortions, which is not an outcome anyone should want.

    Speaking of unwanted outcomes, maybe I've just seen and read too many thrillers where rogue viruses mutate and lead to disaster, but the thought of using genetically engineered mosquitoes to try and destroy the virus frightens me even more than the virus itself. I do not doubt that using these modified mosquitoes as self-destructing gene delivery systems could work (though the realization of what we are capable of engineering genetically is also frightening); however, I fear what else might occur if these mosquitoes are released. We are all connected, and the destruction of the mosquito might seem harmless, but what might happen if the mosquitoes disappear? How will other organisms be affected? I fear the long-term effects would be worse than the current virus.

    Finally, if I were an Olympic athlete, I would be uncomfortable performing in Rio, given the spread of the Zika virus. I would certainly still perform, as the risks in no way outweigh the possible rewards and the years of training athletes have put into qualifying for these games. Would I feel the same certainty if I were a female athlete? I think not.
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