It’s not just about the Zika virus

Two other viruses which are very similar to Zika virus – the chikungunya and the dengue viruses –  are also known to cause neurological complications and may have contributed to the recent increase in neurological diseases that I'm studying here in Brazil. Although the international collaboration I’m working with is called “ZikaPLAN”, our group recognises the importance of these other two viruses and we’re actually studying chikungunya and dengue with just as much interest as Zika.

A typical workday in Recife: my Brazilian “dia a dia”

As you already know, I'm here in Brazil working on a project to do with neurological complications of the Zika virus. Here's an idea of what my day-to-day routine is like, or my "dia-a-dia" as they say in Brazil. 6:00 – Wake up to go for a run while the outside temperature is still bearable. Without doubt, this … Continue reading A typical workday in Recife: my Brazilian “dia a dia”

What is Zika?

Previously virtually unheard of, even by most virologists, Zika virus hit the headlines in 2015-16 when a huge outbreak in Latin America was associated with children being born with brain abnormalities. Though most of you will now have heard of Zika, this article will cover some of the basics and be a good starting point for understanding how my project in Brazil fits in.

A story from the last time I visited Brazil

Just hours after landing, on the way to meet my host in the city of Pouso Alegre, I found myself stranded on the side of the road in backcountry Brazil. This was my first time travelling abroad alone, I was without a functioning mobile phone and was acutely aware that I could hardly have been … Continue reading A story from the last time I visited Brazil