Misconception about Zika Virus

 

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Some minutes ago I heard a sport analyst on classical Fm saying Zika Virus is more of female issues and they aren’t going to Brazil with pregnant women. That is a misconception. Zika Virus is a sexually transmitted disease which means it affects everyone.  Latest news on Zika Virus was that of a man infected with meningoencephalitis, a swell in the brain.




According to health day news, ‘the list of neurological disorders potentially associated with Zika Virus continues to grow”. 

The said victim who is a man of 81 years, was on a cruise to South Pacific where he  suddenly developed fever and went into coma. After due diagnosis and series of tests, he was diagnosed of Zika  infection with an established swell in the brain. He was placed in an intensive care unit and recovered fully after 38 days. 

Zika virus is popularly attributed to Microcephaly a very  rare brain defects . Although not proven, researchers are studying a potential link between this surge in microcephaly cases and Zika virus infection

Early diagnosis of microcephaly can sometimes be made by fetal ultrasound. Ultrasounds have the best diagnosis possibility if they are made at the end of the second trimester, around 28 weeks, or in the third trimester of pregnancy. Often diagnosis is made at birth or at a later stage.

WHO recommends that babies should have their head circumference measured at least 24 hours after birth and compared with WHO growth standards. The result will be interpreted in relation to the gestational age of the baby, and also the baby’s weight and length.

Causes of microcephaly

There are many potential causes of microcephaly, but often the cause remains unknown. The most common causes include: infections in the womb: toxoplasmosis (caused by a parasite found in undercooked meat), rubella, herpes, syphilis, cytomegalovirus and HIV




Exposure to toxic chemicals: maternal exposure to heavy metals like arsenic and mercury, alcohol, radiation, and smoking; genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome; and severe  malnutrition during fetal life are all possible risks.

Signs and symptoms

Many babies born with microcephaly may demonstrate no other symptoms at birth but go on to develop epilepsy, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, hearing loss and vision problems. In some cases, children with microcephaly develop entirely normally.

Treatment and care

There is no specific treatment for microcephaly. A multidisciplinary team is important to assess and care for babies and children with microcephaly. Early intervention with stimulation and play programmes may show positive impacts on development. Family counselling and support for parents is also extremely important.ZIka virus is currently in 52 countries and territories 




Sources 

WHO

Health day news 

READ  'It is important to treat urinary tract infections effectively, especially in younger women. The development of acute pyelonephritis during pregnancy can be a cause of fetal morbidity'


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