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People read zika virus flyers from an information campaign by the Chilean Health Ministry at the departures area of Santiago's international airport, Chile January 28, 2016.
People read zika virus flyers from an information campaign by the Chilean Health Ministry at the departures area of Santiago's international airport, Chile January 28, 2016.
(IVAN ALVARADO/REUTERS)

Tom Koch

Zika virus is the price we pay for globalization

Tom Koch is adjunct professor of medical geography at the University of British Columbia and the author of Cartographies of Disease (2005) and Disease Maps: Epidemics on the Ground (2011).

There is nothing truly unusual about Zika virus, the latest in a long line of microbes to expand their territory and threaten our world. Suspected of causing microcephaly in newborns, that terrifying possibility is why the World Health Organization declared an otherwise fairly benign virus a health emergency.