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Zika-Linked Microcephaly Strikes Almost 1,300 in Brazil

by Julia Samuel on May 5, 2016 at 9:59 PM
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Zika outbreak in Brazil, has killed 57 babies and caused microcephaly birth defect in newborns in 1,271 cases since October.

The Health Ministry said that as of April 30, 3,580 suspected cases had been reported and that another 2,492 were ruled out as false alarms.

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Zika-Linked Microcephaly Strikes Almost 1,300 in Brazil
Zika-Linked Microcephaly Strikes Almost 1,300 in Brazil

While 57 babies were known to have died of the condition, another 178 deaths were suspected to have been caused by it, the data showed.

The virus is blamed for birth defects in babies born to women infected with the virus.

Despite a flurry of research, very little is known about the virus -- how long it can hide out in the human body, the degree of risk via sexual transmission, the full list of diseases and disorders it may cause, and all the mosquito types capable of transmitting it.
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The recent scientific consensus is that Zika causes microcephaly, a form of severe brain damage in newborns, and adult-onset neurological problems such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which can cause paralysis and death.

There is no vaccine or treatment for the virus, which in most people causes only mild symptoms -- a rash, joint pain or fever.

Largely contained to Latin America and the Caribbean, Zika's range is likely to expand as summer arrives in the northern hemisphere -- and with it virus-transmitting mosquitoes.

Source: AFP
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