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Zika virus: microcephaly may be problems for the baby ‘tip of the iceberg’

#Cosmoread: Zika virus-infected pregnant women who are not only having a child with microcephaly, but also the nervous system and even death of the fetus with serious health issues, including problems with a fetus at risk for being maybe, according to a new study from Brazil.

The study – which is the strongest evidence that provides some of the causes microcephaly Zika virus – found that women who had the infection during their pregnancy Zika almost a third of an ultrasound showed that fetal abnormalities. With the development of these abnormalities, such as microcephaly problems with the placenta and brain or spinal cord lesions problem, (meaning an abnormally small head), included.

“Zika definitely causes problems. We think microcephaly is just the tip of the iceberg,” said study co-author Dr. Karin Nielsen-Saines, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine professor of clinical pediatrics.

Infants in the study of fetal brain tissue, amniotic fluid and an unusually small body size problems with calcification (or hardening) is a variety of problems, including, showed. In the study there were two stillbirths. Typically, the viral infection is not the only cause of the problem, and now because of the array of problems associated with Zika, the researchers suggest using the term syndrome congenitial Zika virus, Nielsen-Saines said. Because it was possible to study the effects of Zika during pregnancy than previous studies have provided evidence of a strong, meaning that women who come to the clinic in Brazil Zika tested time and again (regardless of without having followed over whether or not they test positive for the virus).

Moreover, by looking for genetic material of the virus, researchers tested the women for Zika – antibodies, or proteins produced by the immune system in response to infection Zika is more reliable than looking, Nielsen-Saines said.

In the new study, the type of evidence to prove that Zika infection in pregnancy causes microcephaly needed “what people have been waiting for,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist and a senior associate at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre for health protection, said the center, which was not involved in the study. A so-called “case-control” study – the researchers Zika virus-infected pregnant women who lived in the same area and were not pregnant than women with the Zika virus he has.

“This is the closest we have [been] found to causality,” Adalja said. More studies are still linked, need to solidify the “For all intents and purposes, it justifies the concern raised early on,” that at least a proportion of cases of microcephaly in Brazil were caused by Zika virus , Adalja said.

Zika virus is currently spreading rapidly in Central and South America. Since there in Brazil last year was a dramatic increase in the incidence of birth defects, health officials concerned about a link between the virus and has microcephaly.

One of the symptoms of infection – study 88 pregnant women in Rio de Janerio, as they had recently developed a rash that covers the Zika virus was tested. Of these women, 72 Zika tested positive for the virus, and they were in different stages of pregnancy – 38 weeks pregnant than 5.

The researchers had 42 women and 16 women who have an infection Zika Zika infection was not an ultrasound performed. (The study is a positive for Zika ultrasound did not agree to a number of women in the trial, said Nielsen-Saines, and in some of those cases, want to know whether they were taking the embryonic potential had health problems were caused by women.)

Zika about 30 percent of infected women to their ultrasound showed a fetus abnormality, none of the Zika infection than women without. Zika all previously infected women were healthy and adverse pregnancy outcomes was not for the other risk factors, the researchers said.

Zika infected women (12 percent) had fetuses with five microcephaly, but in most of these cases, the fetus has a condition known as birth weight, which means the fetus unusually small, and not just the head .

Zika infected two women, respectively, at 36 and 38 weeks of pregnancy was stillbirth. In previous studies, there is some speculation earlier in pregnancy if they could be more harmful infections that strike was Zika. But the new findings, both stillbirth in women who were infected late in their pregnancies, the Nielsen-Saines said. And in another case, a child, a woman with a subsequent transition from Zika “immediately given” Maybe it was because the baby would have died otherwise, she said.

None of those three cases, microcephaly or other problems with the central nervous system is involved, but in these cases the placenta or amniotic fluid abnormalities, such as the other problems, he said. There “in the last quarter with the transition may be a higher risk of fetal death,” she said.

Zika finding that about 30 percent of infected women had an abnormality on your ultrasound “worrisome,” the researchers said. They note that the rate of fetal death in women with Zika is 4.8 percent, about HIV among women living in the same area twice the rate of fetal death was who.

However, Adalja said the new study was small and in the same area, and more study before researchers know the true rate of pregnancy complications related to Zika needs. In addition, there is the study were infected with Zika but 30 women had an ultrasound. It is important for future studies in order to generalize the findings to perform an ultrasound on all women will be infected Zika, Adalja said.

In Brazil, Zika fears about too much running, said Nielsen-Saines. “People are very concerned there is a lot of fear and anxiety,” she said. Some pregnant women who become infected with the virus are coming to doctors and requested them to induce labor right away – in the third quarter, but also some still in the second quarter – their fetal damage in hopes of reducing, he said.

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