The dreaded Zika virus has caused global scare among health sectors and government agencies last year. According to experts, this disease can take a toll especially on the welfare of pregnant women and their unborn children. Nevertheless, if the latest breakthroughs were to be considered, then Zika virus can be considered as an epidemic that should be solved immediately.
The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine will present on its annual "The Pregnancy MeetingTM" a study about how Zika virus infects and deteriorates the brain of fetuses. To conduct this study, a team of researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Maternal-Fetal Unit, CEDIFETAL, Centro de Diagnostico de Ultrasonido e Imagenes, CEDIUL, Barranquilla, Columbia and the Unidad De Fertildad Y Genetica De Cartagena, Cartagena de Indias, Columbia.
Using a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner, the researchers were able to decipher malformations in the brains of fetuses. They were observed for 29 weeks during the period of gestation. Fetuses observed hailed from Barranquilla, Columbia, were a recent outbreak has been recorded.
Scienmag revealed that from among 13 cases presented with abnormal brain ultrasound findings, some of the fetuses have shown conditions like microcephaly, ventriculomegaly, callosal dysgenesis, calcifications and cortical anomalies. Among these cases, seven were found positive with ZIKA virus. Brain development is hampered because the fetuses' heads are relatively smaller.
According to Parents, Zika virus began spreading in South America and Brazil over a year ago. It has affected thousands of babies who suffered from brain damage and other birth defects. As of press time, thousands of cases have been recorded in 36 countries.
However, a study said that Zika can also impose great danger on adults as it does in unborn children. Though its effects are yet to be determined, scientists strongly urge the public to take necessary precautions because the risk is particularly long-term for adults.