The Zika virus shows that it can do more harm than it was believed. The effects of Zika are well known by everybody, especially after the virus started to affect so many residents of South American countries. A new report states that more children were affected by this virus as 1 in every 10 US women who were infected with the Zika gave birth to a baby with congenital defects.
The most comprehensive study about Zika’s effects on pregnant women and their babies was conducted by the CDC. Women who are infected with this virus in the first trimester of their pregnancy presented a 15 percent chance of having babies with birth defects.
Researchers mentioned that these numbers are higher than any member of the medical community dared to estimate. Health officials mentioned that they reported about the risk of birth defects but they were not expecting to see so many victims. People should prepare themselves because the new “mosquito season” is close. All residents of the US, especially pregnant women, are advised to exert caution and stay away from the insects.
Until recently, researchers believed the disease can only be spread through a mosquito bite but recent evidence shows it can also be transmitted via sexual intercourse. Due to the fact that the virus can be spread through bodily fluids and sex, male partners of pregnant women should also be alert.
In order to conduct this study, researchers analyzed data from almost 1000 pregnant women from 44 states. From those women, 250 had confirmed Zika infections. 24 pregnancies resulted in a baby with birth defects. To put it in order words, almost 10% of Zika-infected pregnancies resulted in babies with birth defects. One of the biggest problems about Zika is that it rarely shows any signs, most infected individuals experiencing no symptoms.
Due to its stealthy nature, Zika is usually diagnosed in its late stages when the infection has already taken over the body. This further complicates the treatment, especially for female patients. Another issue about Zika effects is that the number of children born from a Zika-infected pregnancy did not get tested. This means that more kids might have birth defects that parents don’t know about.
“It’s really key for these babies to have a head ultrasound or CT scan to look for abnormalities that may not be apparent at birth,” stated Margaret Honein, the author of the study.
Image source: Wikipedia