Published on : Jun 17, 2016
Three cases of babies born with birth defects likely linked to Zika virus infections among mothers during the time of their pregnancy, along with three cases of abortions linked to the virus have surfaced in the U.S. recently, according to the federal health officials of the country. These cases were registered in a new registry created especially for reporting Zika infected pregnancies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency has said that it will begin to register cases of pregnancies with possible Zika infections with the help of laboratory evidences in the 50 states and the District of Columbia in the country.
Zika virus has caused huge concerns throughout the Americas (North and South America) ever since several cases of the defect microcephaly linked to infections caused to pregnant women from the mosquito-borne virus were uncovered in Brazil. Brazil is currently the hardest hit country by the outbreak of this virus. The rare birth defect of microcephaly leads to unusually small sizes of heads and many potential severe issues concerned with the overall development of the babies.
The cases of potential Zika virus infection uncovered in the U.S. involve women who were infected with the virus outside the country in areas that are experiencing active Zika outbreaks, or were infected by the virus owing to unprotected sex with an infected partner. No cases of local transmission of the virus have yet been found in the country but health experts fear that local transmission will occur as the mosquito season starts with warmer weather, especially in states located in the Gulf Coast areas.
Looking at the serious medical complications of the Zika virus and the concerns regarding its possibility of easily spreading throughout the Americas, the WHO has said that specialty focus needs to be paid to eliminate risks of the virus contacting women and girls of child-bearing age. The UN health agency has even mentioned that it is devising a joint strategy with the Pan American Health Organization to manage the virus and its outbreak properly. The WHO has said that nearly US$122 mn is required to manage and prevent the chances of spreading the virus.