I hate to sound alarmist, but this BBC article scares the hell out of me:
It originated in Africa, but it is spreading in South and Central America. It is transmissible with a mosquito bite, but also might be sexually transmitted. The symptoms are minor enough to be forgettable, 80% don’t even show any, but then it causes severe birth defects in the women who get it. It is not going to stop at borders, it will go wherever there are mosquitos, just like malaria or dengue fever.
There is no vaccine for Zika. There is no cure for Zika. There doesn’t appear to be much natural immunity for it. Bill Gates sure isn’t pledging billions to cure Zika. It is getting so bad that El Salvador is asking women to not get pregnant for the next two years.
It is currently spreading unchecked and like wildfire and it is definitely already having a profound effect on the birth rate in several places. In Brazil alone, over 1600 children are being born every month with microcephaly, a debilitating birth defect which will mean they are unlikely to survive and if they do, they will almost certainly not reproduce.
I understand the appeal to people who feel that overpopulation is a problem, but if this causes severe underpopulation in already unstable countries, this could result in all the sorts of things involving mass immigration we saw in Children of Men, which we are already seeing in Europe with Syrians due to Climate Change.
Please, someone help convince me that we are not at risk of population collapse due to birth defects.