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Birth Defects Affect 7 Percent of Zika-Exposed Babies: Study

Posted 15 Mar 2018 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 14, 2018 – A new study of pregnant women in the Caribbean further confirms that Zika virus causes birth defects, particularly if infection occurs early in pregnancy. About 7 percent of Zika-infected women in French territories of the Caribbean delivered babies that suffered from birth defects of the brain and eyes, researchers report. These numbers are close to those reflected ...

Babies With Normal Head Size Might Still Have Zika-Linked Brain Damage

Posted 5 Feb 2018 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 5, 2018 – Fetal brain damage caused by the Zika virus can go undetected in pregnancy, and can occur even if a baby's head size is normal, research in monkeys suggests. The findings indicate that many children with Zika-related brain damage may go undiagnosed and are at increased risk for learning disorders, mental illness and dementia, according to researchers from the University of ...

Zika Tied to Rise in U.S. Birth Defects: CDC

Posted 25 Jan 2018 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 25, 2018 – There was a significant rise in Zika-related birth defects in areas of the United States with local transmission of the mosquito-borne virus, a new report shows. "Babies with Zika-related birth defects need all the help they can get, as soon as possible, and for as long as they need it," said Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and ...

Mom-to-Be's Immune Response May Trigger Zika Birth Defects

Posted 5 Jan 2018 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 5, 2018 – Zika might not directly cause the miscarriages and birth defects that have been associated with the notorious virus, a new study in mice suggests. Instead, the ravaging effects of Zika infection on a developing fetus appear to stem from the immune response of the expecting mother, researchers said. Lab mice bred without a key step in their immune response wound up birthing ...

Zika Babies Facing Increasing Health Problems With Age

Posted 15 Dec 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 14, 2017 – Most children born with brain abnormalities caused by the Zika virus are facing severe health and developmental challenges at 2 years of age, a new study suggests. These problems may include seizures, an inability to sit independently as well as problems with sleep, feeding, hearing and vision, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and ...

Conjoined Twins Separated in Medically, Ethically Complex Surgery

Posted 25 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 – A new report on the separation of conjoined twins illustrates the gut-wrenching decisions doctors often have to make in highly complicated medical cases. The choice was difficult for doctors at MassGeneral Hospital for Children: Separate twin girls from East Africa in a 14-hour surgery and save the stronger one, or do nothing and lose both children. In the end, only ...

How Zika Virus Went From Mild to Devastating

Posted 28 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2017 – A single genetic mutation just a few years back gave the Zika virus the ability to cause severe neurological birth defects like microcephaly, a new study in mice suggests. Scientists have known about the Zika virus since 1947, when it was discovered in a monkey from the Zika Forest in Uganda. At that point, it was only linked to mild symptoms. It wasn't until the Zika ...

Mom-to-Be's Cellphone Use May Not Harm Fetal Brain

Posted 5 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 5, 2017 – Chatting away on a cellphone while pregnant doesn't appear to have a negative effect on the brain development of the growing fetus, a new study reports. "The concern for harm to the fetus caused by radio frequency electromagnetic fields, such as those emitted by mobile phones, is mainly driven by reports from experimental animal studies with inconsistent results," said ...

Zika Hijacks Pregnant Woman's Immune System

Posted 21 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 21, 2017 – The Zika virus thrives in pregnant women by suppressing their already dampened immune systems and running roughshod over their body's natural defenses, which allows the virus to directly attack the fetus, a new study reports. A woman's immune system naturally suppresses itself during pregnancy to keep the body from recognizing the fetus as a foreign body and attacking it, ...

'Herd Immunity' May Be Curbing U.S. Zika Numbers

Posted 17 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2017 – The number of Zika infections has dropped dramatically in Florida this summer, and scientists say herd immunity may be the reason why. In practical terms, herd immunity means that people traveling to the United States from South America and the Caribbean may have been infected with Zika in the past, but they can no longer pass the virus on to mosquitoes that might pass ...

Impaired Eyesight May Be First Sign of Zika Damage in Babies

Posted 17 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 17, 2017 – Infants exposed to the Zika virus in the womb should have their eyes examined for possible virus-related abnormalities, according to a new report. "All infants with potential Zika virus exposure should undergo screening eye examinations regardless of [central nervous system] abnormalities, timing of maternal infection during pregnancy, or laboratory confirmation," said ...

1 in 20 Pregnant Women Infected With Zika Have Babies With Birth Defects: CDC

Posted 9 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 – One in 20 women in the U.S. territories who were infected with Zika during pregnancy had babies with serious birth defects, officials reported Thursday. The exact percentage of infants born with these Zika-linked defects depended on when during pregnancy the woman was infected, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Among women infected ...

Zika's Set to Return to Mainland U.S., But Budget Cuts Threaten Response

Posted 2 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 1, 2017 – The Zika virus will strike the continental United States again this summer, and looming federal budget cuts will make it hard for local officials to curb its spread, public health experts said Wednesday. The experts believe it's a foregone conclusion that more local Zika outbreaks will occur on the U.S. mainland in the coming months, much like what happened in Miami and ...

'Groundbreaking Strides' Made in Zika Vaccine Research

Posted 10 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 10, 2017 – Development of a Zika vaccine is proceeding rapidly, but it still will be years before such a vaccine is available to the public, says the author of a new report on research efforts. Three leading vaccine candidates are being tested in humans. Two are based on cutting-edge DNA vaccine technology and the third is based on the more standard inactivated virus model, said ...

Zika Risk May Be Lower Than Thought for Some Pregnant Women

Posted 9 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 9, 2017 – U.S. women traveling to areas where the Zika virus is circulating might be less likely to be infected than expected, but risk remains, a new study suggests. Only one out of 185 pregnant women at a Los Angeles clinic who visited an active Zika area between January and August 2016 wound up infected, researchers report. "Overall, for women who have had exposures to Zika ...

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