The relation of Zika and birth defects

Zika has been linked to risky birth defects. There were researchers who reported that there were findings that the virus in Zika can reach the amniotic fluid of 2 pregnant women whose fetuses were detected with microcephaly.  In the study conducted by the Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal, their scientists have discovered that there is a link between Zika virus and microcephaly. They have discovered that the virus may reach the placenta even if there is a wall in between, but this doesn’t prove the cause behind babies having microcephaly, which is a condition wherein newborns have abnormal head size. More researches must be made to fully comprehend the association between the virus and the said condition.

The study is still undetermined if Zika virus in the said instances was the real cause behind the microcephaly in the newborn babies. This is according to a doctor who led the research at an institute in Brazil.  Until they have fully understood the biological mechanisms that associates Zika virus with microcephaly, only then they can assess that the other is the real cause of the said condition. A lot of scientists do believe that Zika, which is a disease, brought about by mosquitos and is presently spreading throughout the world, might be the leading cause for newborns to have microcephaly and for some serious neuro conditions in adults which they call the Guillain Barre Syndrome.

Zika as an epidemic spreading across the globe

The WHO has said that Zika is an epidemic spreading from Brazil is a worldwide problem that calls for an emergency assistance and immediate studies must be conducted in relation with the growing number of people having it and with the growing number of birth defects too.  The researcher studied and noted that the number of cases suspected with microcephaly in Brazil last 2015 rose by 20x compared to 2014 the same time. Brazil has been noted with the highest numbers of people infected with Zika virus and it is just quite alarming according to the WHO.

The babies born with the microcephaly condition are at risk of having incomplete brain growth. This case has been associated to the extent of factors that include genetic problems, chemical and drug intoxication, malnutrition of the mother during pregnancy, infections with viruses or bacteria that may go beyond the placenta wall like HIV, herpes and mosquito borne viruses like Zika and chikungunya.  In this particular study, the team has studied instances of 2 women aged 27-35 and they all came from a place at the northeastern part of Brazil.

Women with signs of Zika infection may feel fever, rashes, muscle pains and others during the first trimester of pregnancy. The ultrasound will be the one to confirm if the baby is positive of microcephaly or not and this will be on the 22nd week of pregnancy.  The researchers got some samples of the amniotic fluid of a 28th week pregnant woman and the urine and blood samples were also tested and they were negative for ZIka, while the amniotic fluid is positive for the virus genome for the Zika antibodies.