Evidences of Zika virus have been found in the placentas from two women who suffered miscarriage and in the brains of two newborns, who died.
A case of Zika virus was diagnosed last week in Texas, CBS Houston affiliate KHOU reported. The newly born babies were having a rare condition known as microcephaly, in which babies had very small heads. Research is now under way on possible mother-to-child transmission of the virus and its effects on babies.
Zika is spread by the same Aedes mosquito that can carry dengue and chikungunya.
The Wall Street Journal notes that Brazilian officials appear significantly confident that Zika is to blame for these cases of microcephaly. By New Year’s Eve 2015, the CDC reported that Puerto Rico had the first locally acquired case of zika, meaning it was contracted within the U.S. territory rather that was brought in by a traveler to the island.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a warning to the United States that Zika virus was coming to our country was issued by the World Health Organization. One in four people infected shows symptoms of the disease, which is mainly fever, a rash, muscular pain, general feeling of malaise and sometimes inflammation of the eyes, or conjunctivitis.
Today, air conditioning allows Americans to spend more time indoors, where they’re protected by window screens, Adalja said. A few U.S. travelers have been infected outside the country and have tested positive for infection after returning home.
“Canadian travellers visiting affected areas, particularly pregnant women, should help protect themselves against Zika virus by taking individual protective measures to prevent mosquito bites, including using insect repellent, protective clothing, mosquito nets, screened doors and windows”, the Public Health Agency of Canada advised. Seven infant deaths have been linked to the birth defect in Brazil over the course of the a year ago.
The Zika virus has existed for decades in Africa and Asia, but spread only in the last decade to Central and South America.
Virologists said zika has already reached “epidemic” proportions in El Salvador, where doctors were able to isolate the virus in some children suffering from microcephaly.
Pimentel added that the Zika virus is present in the Americas region and clarified that the risk of it moving from one place to another was not determined by the distance between countries but by migration and an increase in the number of cases, “so as long as they are increasing in other countries, this enhances the risk of it affecting the country”.