Suspected case of Zika-linked microcephaly being investigated

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Suspected case of Zika-linked microcephaly being investigated

microcephaly

Saint Lucia is investigating a suspected case of Zika-related microcephaly in one baby, although three previous cases that were thought to be Zika-related turned out to be false.

Reports are that the latest microcephaly case was discovered on Friday.

Doctors are monitoring the baby and her mother at a local hospital. The Ministry of Health has already sent lab samples to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing.

Microcephaly in newborns can be caused by myriad complications, including the rubella virus, the bacterium that causes Syphilis, poisoning and poor nutrition.

The birth defect appears in 1-10 percent of babies whose mothers contract the Zika virus during the first trimester.

The Ministry of Health has been actively monitoring newborn babies for microcephaly.

According to the World Health Organization, the Zika virus is circulating in at least 60 countries.

There have been more than 2,000 babies born with Zika-related microcephaly or other birth defects around the world, according to the latest WHO report. Brazil has more than 1,800 confirmed cases of Zika-related microcephaly; the U.S. has reported 23.

There is no vaccine or treatment for Zika, which is a close cousin of dengue and chikungunya and causes mild fever, rash and red eyes. An estimated 80 percent of people have no symptoms, making it difficult for pregnant women to know whether they have been infected.

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  1. Even though the woman had Zika before as with many other St. Lucians, does that mean that Zika was the cause? I think we are making a big mistake in attributing Zika to microcephaly. If Zika was so widespread why are cases of microcephaly so sparse? In some infected areas of the world where certain insecticides were used there was a concentration of the condition, why is that? Is this another decision which is influenced by big business interests?

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