HTLV-1, which is short for Human T-cell leukemia virus Type 1, is spreading at a galloping pace, The Daily Mail reported, citing a number of medical sources.
The virus was first spotted 40 years ago when archeologists unearthed 1,500-year-old mummies in South America. Unfortunately, it was disregarded by scientists, who did next to nothing to curb the “off the charts” spread.
Dr. Robert Gallo, who co-founded the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland expressed regret that not on a single occasion has the disease triggered by the virus been treated.
The virus, which is transmitted through unprotected sex or through breastfeeding, puts one’s health in severe danger, as it can cause leukemia and lymphoma, as well as diseases which crush the nervous system. Separately, it sometimes leads to lung damage and weakens the immune system at large.
Northern Australians are reportedly in the highest risk zone, with the percentage of those infected climbing well over 40% in some remote Aussie localities. The issue has become even more pressing recently, given that there is no vaccine for it yet.