Zika has been in the news, if you haven’t noticed, as a neglected tropical disease which has been linked to a frightening surge in birth defects in Central and South America. The response to Zika is going to depend upon the science–which is very much up in the air–along with economic and cultural factors. Chief among those are huge income disparities, population complexities, and limits on access to family planning options. On today’s episode, Ellie Ginn, Marielle Meurice, Kevo Rivera, and Jessica Waters meet up with one of the researchers who is fighting this bug. Dr. Selma Jeronimo isn’t a household name in the US, but she is becoming one in her home country of Brazil. She is the director of the Institute of Tropical Medicine of Rio Grande do Norte, and a professor of biochemistry and medicine at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte in Natal. Her job is investigating Brazil’s endemic diseases.
With Zika now spread to more than 20 countries including the United States, we took advantage of her faculty appointment at the University of Iowa and her long-time collaborations with Iowa faculty and students, to have her on the show.
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