Zika virus may be more dangerous than initially thought

(VOVworld)- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently announced that Zika virus causes unborn babies’ deformities, including microcephaly. CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat said Zika is scarier than we initially thought.

 Zika virus may be more dangerous than initially thought  - ảnh 1

Zika virus was first discovered in the Ugandan forests in 1947 and has been spreading all over Africa and Asia. Affected people suffer rare diseases with light symptoms. To date, the virus has evolved and sparked an epidemic. The first Zika epidemic was detected in Brazil last year and has been spreading all over America. The outbreak has connection with thousands of unborn babies’ unusually small heads, sparking the World Health Organization to declare a global health emergency.

Studies released in mid April have shown that Zika virus has mutated to become more dangerous. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said unlike initial studies about Zika virus’ infection on women who are in the first 3 weeks of pregnancy, there are mounting concerns about infection during pregnancy. The new finding suggests that Zika may paralyze those who are inflected with the virus with such diseases as brain and marrow inflammation, and meningitis.

During the 2013 outbreak in French Polynesia, scientists found the link between Zika virus and Guilian-Barre symptom, a rare and serious condition of the peripheral nervous system that causes muscle weakness and temporary paralysis. Now, scientists who study Zika virus in Brazil are reporting on the disorder of the nervous system similar to cases in French Polynesia. From January to July last year, the number of patients with Guilian-Barre symptom jumped remarkably. In Brazil the increase was 19% last year while there were 118 cases during 6 weeks of Zika outbreak in Salvador and 85 cases in Colombia last October. In addition, more than 10 countries and territories have reported hundreds of Guilian-Barre symptom cases linked with Zika.

Evidence of Zika epidemic has been found in 50 countries mostly in South America. To prevent the situation from deteriorating, the US scientists and the White House have called on the Congress to provide an emergency package of 1.9 billion USD. Further studies on Zika virus are being conducted in the US to develop vaccines, but this is a time consuming effort. That’s why the international community pays special attention to disease prevention before there are any drugs for treatment.