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Video: Zika Virus Responsible For Delayed Development Of Babies
2023 Author: Lynn Laird | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 21:10
The invasion of the tiger mosquito in mainland France last year triggered panic and everyone started talking about a possible epidemic of Zika, dengue, chikungunya. Fortunately, nothing bad happened. However, a fairly controversial subject does not cease to worry health organizations: what happens when a pregnant woman is infected with the Zika virus? Are there any consequences for babies?
Zika virus closely linked to delayed development of babies
Since the explosion of the Zika epidemic in Colombia in 2015-2016, parents and researchers have been haunted by the idea that infected mothers could have transmitted the virus to their babies. Although these looked normal at birth, the doubts are still present. And to shed light on this disturbing subject, specialists examined 70 young children born in 2016 and 2017 to mothers infected with the disease. So what did they find out?
Appeared in the American journal Jama Pediatrics on January 6, 2020, the study in question observed children in the Atlantico department of Colombia and found that they have slight developmental delays. These are motor, social and cognitive difficulties. The babies, studied up to their 18 months, presented a few months behind in essential activities such as rolling over, sitting down, crawling etc. However, pediatric neurologist and research lead Sarah Mulkey stressed that this is not a very big effect and the symptoms could be easily overlooked.
The standardized visual examination also revealed another interesting fact about motor problems. These are abnormalities like small cysts in the brain, which affected only 37% of the children examined. It turned out that these toddlers suffered from a slightly delayed development of motor skills.
Scientifically proven, the relationship between Zika virus and delayed development is still the subject of much analysis. Sarah Mulkey says long-term follow-up will be needed to better decipher the absolute impact of the virus on brain development. And in this context, the team of specialists will continue to observe the condition of exposed babies until they are five years old thanks to new funding.
Here is a small systematic list of what we know about pregnancy and Zika:
• Zika virus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to the fetus. • Infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect called microcephaly as well as other serious fetal brain abnormalities. • Currently, vaccines against the virus are still in development and may be available in ten years or so. • Avoiding travel to areas affected by Zika is essential for pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant.