Zika spread warning of global microcephaly epiderma in newborns
The Zika virus, which has been spreading in Latin America for months, has long been suspected of causing neonatal skull malformations. A new study has now confirmed the link between Zika infection of pregnant women and microcephaly syndrome in babies. According to the researchers, the problem could become global.
Global health emergency
Already since last year, the dangerous Zika virus spreads in several countries in Central and South America. Occasionally, the pathogen was brought by travelers in other parts of the world. Experts warned a few months ago even before a possible Zika virus epidemic around the Mediterranean. The World Health Organization (WHO) has now declared a global health emergency for the virus.
Brain malformations in babies
According to health experts, the mosquito-borne Zika virus is not fatal and causes flu-like symptoms in about 20 percent of those infected, including fever, headache, body aches and sometimes rash. The pathogen is also responsible for thousands of cases of microcephaly in babies. The children are born with an unusually small head, which can lead to brain malformations. After the cases in Latin America, the first baby with microcephaly was born in Europe during the summer.
Researchers warn of a worldwide microcephaly epidemic
There could be more, because scientists have now warned of a worldwide microcephaly epidemic as a result of the spread of the Zika virus. The news agency AFP confessed that the virus experts provided further evidence for the association between Zika infection in pregnant women and microcephaly syndrome in newborns. "We recommend that we prepare for a worldwide epidemic of microcephaly and other Zika-related diseases," said the physicians from the UK and Brazil.
Connection between Zika virus and microcephaly
The findings of the study, published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, suggest that the microcephaly epidemic is spreading to all countries where the Zika virus is currently being transmitted or where transmission is likely to spread becomes".
In their study, researchers examined pregnant women and newborns in an area of Brazil that is particularly affected by Zika. According to the information, in half of 32 babies with microcephaly the virus could be detected in the body. In a comparison group of 64 healthy babies, however, it had not been proven.
In the opinion of the authors, the result confirms the already widely accepted assumption that there is an association between Zika and microcephaly. According to the scientists, mothers of microcephaly babies had been infected with Zika during pregnancy by 80 percent. According to the study, the virus has even been detected in the mothers of healthy babies in 64 percent of cases. The authors of the study considered this to be evidence of how far the virus has spread in the affected areas. (Ad)