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The Latest On Zika Virus: Colombia s First Probable Microcephaly Case Is Reported

The Latest On Zika Virus: Colombia s First  Probable  Microcephaly Case Is Reported
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In Oct. 2015, Brazil alerted the World Health Organization to a sharp increases of babies born with microcephaly, a birth defect in which babies heads are abnormally small. 

In this Dec. 23, 2015 photo, Dejailson Arruda holds his daughter Luiza at their house in Santa Cruz do Capibaribe, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Luiza was born in October with a rare condition, known as microcephaly. 

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Felipe Dana/AP

In Oct. 2015, to a sharp increases of babies born with microcephaly, a birth defect in which babies heads are abnormally small. 

In this Dec. 23, 2015 photo, Dejailson Arruda holds his daughter Luiza at their house in Santa Cruz do Capibaribe, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Luiza was born in October with a rare condition, known as microcephaly. 

Felipe Dana/AP

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Health officials in Brazil suspected that the sharp rise in microcephaly was linked to the country s ongoing Zika virus outbreak -- a mild, mosquito-borne disease that is estimated to have infected as many as 1.5 million people in Brazil . 

In this Dec. 22, 2015 photo, Luiza has her head measured by a neurologist at the Mestre Vitalino Hospital in Caruaru, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Luiza was born in October with a head that was just 11.4 inches (29 centimeters) in diameter, more than an inch (3 centimeters) below the range defined as healthy by doctors.

Felipe Dana/AP

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Brazilian health officials soon if possible, to prevent microcephaly cases. While they say the link between the two conditions is clear, WHO and other authorities say more research needs to be done before confirming the connection. 

In this Dec. 23, 2015 photo, Solange Ferreira bathes her son Jose Wesley in a bucket at their house in Poco Fundo, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Ferreira says her son enjoys being in the water, so she places him in the bucket several times a day to calm him. 

Felipe Dana/AP

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The zika virus was first identified in Africa, spread to parts of Asia and then reached the Americas in 2014 , researchers suspect. The Aedes mosquito carries the disease.

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito acquires a blood meal on the arm of a researcher at the Biomedical Sciences Institute in the Sao Paulo s University, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. 

Andre Penner/AP

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Researchers suspect that the Zika virus is also linked to the spike of a rare, autoimmune disease called  Guillain-Barré syndrome that can result in temporary paralysis. 

This January 2016 image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease that has been linked in Brazil to a large number of cases of microcephaly, a rare birth defect. Infants with microcephaly have smaller than normal heads and their brains do not develop properly.

Cynthia Goldsmith/CDC via AP

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There is no cure or vaccine for Zika virus. The most reliable way to prevent transmission is to destroy the mosquitos that carry it. 

An army soldier and a health agent from Sao Paulo s Public health secretary check a residence during an operation against the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is a vector for transmitting the Zika virus in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. 

Andre Penner/AP

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Zika virus is now endemic in 22 countries and territories. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a , and pregnant women in particular, to follow strict guidelines in preventing mosquito bites when traveling to these areas. Pregnant women were also advised to delay travel if possible, while women who want to become pregnant were advised to speak with their healthcare providers before traveling.

Army soldiers and a health agent from Sao Paulo s Public health secretary check a residence during an operation against the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is a vector for transmitting the Zika virus in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. 

Andre Penner/AP

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The World Health Organization predicts that Zika virus will spread throughout all of the Americas , barring Canada and Chile. 

A health agent from Sao Paulo s Public health secretary shows an army soldier Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae that she found during clean up operation against the insect, which is a vector for transmitting the Zika virus, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. 

Andre Penner/AP

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Several research institutes and companies are now trying to figure out for Zika virus, including the Sao Paulo-based Butantan Institute, the U.K. s GlaxoSmithKline and France s Sanofi. However, it will be years before anyone develops a reliable vaccine , researchers predict. 

A graduate student works on analyzing samples to identify the Zika virus in a laboratory at the Fiocruz institute in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016.
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In Oct. 2015, to a sharp increases of babies born with microcephaly, a birth defect in which babies heads are abnormally small.  In this Dec. 23, 2015 photo,...
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In Oct. 2015, to a sharp increases of babies born with microcephaly, a birth defect in which babies heads are abnormally small.  In this Dec. 23, 2015 photo,...
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In this Dec. 23, 2015 photo, Dejailson Arruda holds his daughter Luiza at their house in Santa Cruz do Capibaribe, Pernambuco state, Brazil. AP/Felipe Dana Published Wednesday, January 20, 2016...
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In this Jan. 18, 2016 photo, a researcher holds a container with female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes at the Biomedical Sciences Institute in the Sao Paulo s University, in Sao Paulo,...
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A health agent from Sao Paulo s Public health secretary shows an army soldier Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae that she found during clean up operation against the insect, which is...