Severe fetal abnormalities from the Zika virus were confirmed by federal officials on April 13, 2016. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that people should be aware that the bite from a mosquito could be a threat to pregnant women. In over 40 countries, babies have been born with abnormal skulls, yet until today, scientists had not reached a consensus.
Historically, congenital birth defects have never been linked to a virus transmitted by mosquito bites. Director of the CDC Thomas Frieden and researchers have confirmed that Zika birth defects include microcephaly, as initially suspected. Officials fear a widespread epidemic and the possible damaging effects the Zika virus could have on children’s development, as well as possible adult neuro-pathology.
Neurological problems in adults are also being linked to this pathogen caused by the AEDES genus, which was first discovered in Ugandan forests. Now that Zika-related birth defects have been confirmed, medical advice extends to not only pregnant women and children but to their partners as well. Sexual transmission has been discovered by researchers, who previously thought this was not a concern.
Global officials are hoping that this release of evidence will help people become more educated concerning the spread and prevention. They also hope this will ensure all steps necessary to halt the progress of the disease are taken, here in the United States and abroad.
By Sylvia Harris
Edited by Jeanette Smith
The Washington Post: CDC confirms Zika virus causes microcephaly, other birth defects.
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