NIH Will Study Pregnant Women In Places With Zika Virus

By Elizabeth Anderson, Parent Herald June 28, 05:40 am
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The United States and Brazil have come together for an international study of up to 10,000 pregnant women in Zika-affected areas. The study will look into the health hazards posed by the virus to the pregnant mothers and their unborn children.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Fundação Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz, a national research organization associated with the Brazilian Ministry of Health will be at the helm of the Zika infants and Pregnancy (ZIP) study. The researchers are recruiting pregnant women aged 15 years or older who are in their first trimester for the ZIP.

Scope Of The Zika Study

U.S. News & World Report reported that pregnant women are currently being recruited in two sites in Puerto Rico. The report added that NIH and Fundação Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz will also be recruiting pregnant women to more than 12 areas in Brazil, Colombia and more areas that are affected by Zika.

"This large prospective study promises to provide important new data that will help guide the medical and public health responses to the Zika virus epidemic," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was quoted by Infection Control Today as saying. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is one NIH institutes that is backing the study on Zika.

Details Of The Zika Study

According to a report from Healio, pregnant women in the Zika study will be monitored every month of their pregnancy and six weeks after giving birth. The researchers will be taking blood, urine, saliva and vaginal swab samples from the mothers, who will be given information about Zika symptoms.

The report added that if there will be prenatal testing of amniotic fluid, it will be analyzed for zika. Breast milk samples will also be analyzed for Zika. If the mothers allow, newborns will also be tested for Zika after two days, three months, six months and one year. Incidence of miscarriages, premature births, microcephaly and developmental problems of babies' will be compared in mothers with the Zika virus and those who do not contract the virus.

Do you think this Zika study will be successful? Write your comments below.

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