Zika Virus Update: Future of Babies Uncertain Because of Microcephaly, Guillain-Barre Syndrome and Other Zika Symptoms

By Lani Lane, Parent Herald September 11, 09:34 pm
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Zika Virus has been transmitted globally and is now setting on disasters in 46 countries and territories just in the region of America, according to Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Brazil, the epicenter of the virus, has doubled birth defects statistics as CNN reports. Many Brazillian babies' future are at stake because of Zika.

Babies and fetuses infected by Zika virus are reported to have hardened calcium deposits in the brain. This can lead to swelling in the brain and breakdown of some tissues.  Over 150 babies were reported to have microcephaly in 2014 and terribly soared to over 4000 cases this year and still counting.

Congenital malformtions have been stable until 2015 at 40/100,000 live births but in the recent months, it has been detected to have been raised to 170/100,000 births. This sets a four times increase, according to CNN. Babies who are now infected by Zika virus do not just have smaller heads (microcephaly) but are also feared to have deadly inflammations of the brain and spinal column, which may come in the form of encephalitis, encephalomyelitis, and myelitis. Now a new disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is also seen as a potential destroyer of the immune system, where pain, paralysis, and even death can be the end result.

Zika virus circulation in the Americas is dreaded to have increased the number of cases for GBS not just in Brazil but also in other countries and territories, says PAHO. Among these countries are Colombia, Honduras, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Martinuque, Jamaica, Venezuela, Suriname, and French Guiana. Other countries outside the Americas are also starting to suffer from the tremendous transmission of Zika. Asia, Europe, Australia, and some areas in the Pacific Islands are struck by the virus as well.

GBS can cause temporary damage, which means that it can be cured through proper medication and medical care. However, some people who have GBS experience permanent damage especially in the nervous system. Fatality is low for GBS cases, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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