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Zika Virus Causes Birth Defects Says CDC





Zika Virus Causes Birth Defects Says CDC

The United State Centres for Disease Control and prevention {CDC} has confirmed that the dreaded  Zika virus causes microcephaly and other birth defects,

This was disclosed on Wednesday through the Director  of CDC, Dr. Tom Frieden .

According to CDC, based on all of the available evidence,  two separate sets of criteria to determine a pathogen or environmental exposure causes a birth defect have been met.

In the same vein, Dr. Sonja Rasmussen, lead author of the report and editor-in-chief of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report reiterated further that there was no alternative explanation to account for the increase in these congenital defects among women who had the Zika virus during pregnancy.

Also unknown is the full range of health problems that can result from the virus. Cases of Zika-related microcephaly and congenital birth defects appear to be more severe than what pediatricians see from non-Zika related microcephaly based on clinical reports.

These include smaller head measurements than expected and a condition called fetal brain disruption sequence in which the virus has a destructive effect on the brain.

Reinforcing the CDC announcement, researchers released a new study looking at brain scans of babies born with suspected Zika related microcephaly in Pernambuco, Brazil, between July and December of last year. They looked at MRI and CT scans of 23 babies and found most of them had severe brain damage they characterized as “extremely severe” and an indication of “poor prognosis of neurological function.”

“We know mosquito bites spread other diseases as well, so it’s important for pregnant women, and everyone, to not get bitten by mosquitoes,” Rasmussen said. That means wearing long pants and long sleeves when outside, using mosquito repellant and removing any standing water from around homes and throughout communities.

CDC teams have been proceeding as if this was the case even without the official conclusion, but now Rasmussen hopes this will not only raise awareness about prevention but also add focus to ongoing Zika research.

According to CNN, , President Barack Obama will sign a bill that offers incentives to companies working on Zika treatments and vaccines. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the bill is positive but meager, in reference to the pending request to Congress for $1.9 billion in emergency Zika funds.

“In some ways, it’s akin to passing out umbrellas in the advance of a potential hurricane. An umbrella might come in handy, but it’s going to be insufficient to ensure that communities all across the country are protected from a potentially significant impact.”

Last week the World Health Organization {WHO} reported that the mosquito-borne virus causes microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

The CDC however, said they are not yet ready to conclude the virus causes Guillain-Barré syndrome. More than 1,000 cases of microcephaly and other fetal malformations believed to be Zika-associated have been reported from six countries, according to the WHO.

 



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Zika Virus Causes Birth Defects Says CDC
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