There had always been debates about if Mosquito-borne Zika virus was responsible for babies born with abnormally small head size – a condition medically referred to as Microcephaly; but the US disease experts have agreed for the first time that Zika Virus does cause Microcephaly. Although there were links between the two as parents with Zika usually deliver kids with the brain damage condition but there wasn’t a total prove to make this official until now.
After reviewing some data in existence about the Zika virus, researchers from the US Centers for Disease Centre and Prevention have thus made the declaration in a New England Journal of Medicine that the relationship was, as suspected, causal.
“This study marks a turning point in the Zika outbreak.”
“This study marks a turning point in the Zika outbreak,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement. “It is now clear that the virus causes microcephaly.”
The researchers did come to the conclusion about the relationship between the two dangerous conditions based on existing data gotten in the case of a set of seven rules know as Shepard’s Criteria. The list was developed by a pediatric doctor Thomas Shepard which was a way to establish if something did cause birth defects.
When at least some of these criteria are met, it usually serves as “proof” that exposure to a particular agent — such as a disease or some kind of chemical — causes fetal abnormalities.
The data review did show that Zika Virus met all the necessary standards for being a cause of birth defect. In the investigation carried out, many women who had Zika Virus during a critical time of their pregnancy – such periods as the first of second trimester – do have babies with birth defects. And in addition, many most fetuses who got exposed to the virus all had the abnormal small head or at least some brain abnormalities. Again, many women have given birth to babies with microcephaly after having traveled to areas with the Zika Virus Outbreaks. All of fbjs evidence is said to be enough to prove that Zika indeed cause Microcephaly according to the arguments of the researchers despite the virus satisfying more criteria on the list.
There had always been the long believe that Zika virus was respinsie for microcephaly.
The Zika virus has long been thought to cause microcephaly. A recent outbreak of the disease in Brazil and other nearby countries has coincided with a spike in microcephaly cases.
As of April 2015, more than 1.5 Million cases of Zika Virus were reported in Brazil according to the World Health Organization. And after the outbreak, cases of Microcephaly have spiked as and the number had climbed between 4,000 and 5,000 according to a report from the Brazil’s Ministry of Health. Despite this association, experts have yet to definitively confirm the link between Zika and birth defects.
Now that a causal relationship has been established, the researchers argue that it’s time for experts to change how they approach the Zika virus. Parts of those challenges includes focusing research efforts elsewhere – like Vaccine e development as example. Other plans of the CDC also include more study to determine if Zika cause more cases of developmental issues more than the reported ones.
We still need more answers, which could take years—but we now know enough to say that#Zika is a cause of severe brain defects.
— Dr. Tom Frieden (@DrFriedenCDC) April 13, 2016