The Zika virus is both as serious as the plague and so cartoonishly horrific that it might as well have been directed by David Cronenberg. The entire world is in a panic over this voracious scourge that is coming for our babies. And lest we forget about Zika, there are plenty of headlines to remind us:
It's terrifying that we care what Barbra Streisand thinks.
And those are just the recent ones. We've been hearing worrying stories about Zika all year. Zika is considered by some the new rubella, a disease that became rampant in the '60s. Here are some terrifying headlines about rubella from the past year:
Oh right, there aren't any, because we curb-stomped rubella decades ago. The reason we mention it is that, because its history is similar to Zika, rubella's being used as a case study on how to fight this new menace. Rubella, also known as the German measles, started as a weird foreign disease that hit unborn babies the hardest, causing severe defects like "deafness, congenital heart disease, enlarged spleens, liver problems, abnormalities of the bones and bone marrow, and bleeding disorders." By 1965, over 10 million people were infected. 20,000 babies died, 30,000 more were born with birth defects, and thousands were aborted as a precautionary measure. Then, by 1969, a vaccine was made. By the '80s, rubella was contained to minor, isolated outbreaks. Today, it has been so thoroughly wiped out of the Americas that any American carrying it could be suspected of being a time traveler.
Center For Disease Control
Or suffering from the most unfortunate case of freckles ever seen.