Category Archives: virus

The Zika Virus May Caused Worse Birth Defects That Previously Reported According To Brazilian Medical Advisor Doctor Sergio Cortes

For the past eight months, researchers have been trying to find the link between the Zika virus and microcephaly. Microcephaly is term used to describe babies that are born with underdeveloped brains and exceptionally small heads. Research teams have found the virus in amniotic fluid and in the brains of fetuses. Some medical experts like Brazil’s chief doctor, Sergio Cortes think that’s enough information to link Zika to microcephaly. Dr. Cortes discusses that link and other information about the Zika virus on his official website.
The amount of research that is underway to answer some of the questions about Zika virus behavior is encouraging. Dr. Cortes posted an article on his LinkedIn page that detailed Google’s involvement in stopping the spread of the virus. To date, 46 countries have Zika virus cases, and many of those countries say the cases are reaching epidemic numbers. Brazil was the first country to report a Zika case in 2015, but the virus is much older than that. Africa has been reporting cases since 1947, and Thailand has had cases every year for the last 60 years. The Zika virus may be old, but the research is new, according to a post on the Dr. Cortes Facebook page.
Even though Africa, the Pacific Islands, and Thailand have been experiencing outbreaks from the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, there hasn’t been an exceptional number of microcephaly reported in those infected nations. That is one of the perplexing questions that researchers are trying to answer. One answer might be the people in the slums and rural areas of Brazil are being bitten several times by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, and the virus is much more potent because of multiple bites. Cortes tweeted that multiple bites could be one answer, and a mutated form of the virus could another. Zika may mingle with dengue and other viruses carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, and that mixture is causing more cases of microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome.
The severity of the microcephaly cases in Brazil is another concern. One baby born with microcephaly was born with no brain. There was only liquid where the brain should be, and that discovery is a game-changer for researchers. If the Zika virus is a different virus than the grandfather virus that spread through African countries years ago, scientist say it could mutate again and that virus could create more health issues.
Whatever the virus is now, there may be a chance it will be something else in the future, and that is one of the major concerns in developing a vaccine. A vaccine developed today may not work a year from now on the virus that is sure to come back year after year in the Americas.