Mosquito-Borne Zika Virus Causing Brain Damaged Babies In Brazil

Posted: Dec 24 2015, 11:42am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Mosquito-Borne Zika Virus Causing Brain Damaged Babies in Brazil
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The deadly virus is spreading rapidly across South American countries.

Brazil is facing a huge crisis as a mosquito-borne virus is spreading rapidly and supposedly causing thousands of infant deaths in the country.

Brazil health officials link thousands of infant brain damage cases and at least 40 deaths to this virus in 2015 and the government has declared a state of emergency in the wake of large outbreak of Zika virus.

The Zika virus transmits from mosquito's like dengue and chikungunya virus. Symptoms include fever, rashes, headaches, joint aches and vomiting and it takes around few days or one week to fully recover. The disease is treatable and can be coped with via bed rest and lots of liquids.

Health officials believe that the virus is also causing microcephaly, an extremely rare condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads because their brains could not grow properly. The condition can result in serious developmental issues and death as well.

Brazil Health Ministry released facts and figures on Tuesday that revealed that the number of suspected cases of microcephaly related to Zika virus across the country rose to 16% in just a week. This year suspected cases had climbed to 2,782 and at least 40 deaths in comparison to just 147 cases of microcephaly for all of 2014.

“This is probably the largest outbreak of Zika ever recorded,” said Ann Powers from Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “There’s a lot of concern about what it means, what the implications are, and what we can potentially do for containment and control.”

In Brazil, Perambuco is the state with highest number of infant infected by Zika virus (1,031 cases), who could possibly suffer complications in later life.

“These are newborns who will require special attention their entire lives. It’s an emotional stress that just can’t be imagined.” Angela Rocha at Oswaldo Cruz Hospital said.

Zika virus has spread not only in Brazil, but across much of South America including Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Panama.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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