Brazil’s new research has indicated that the impact of Zika virus on babies could be even more disturbing than what was reported earlier.
According to the report, the infection, when transmitted to a newborn from its mother, might not show any symptom but grow gradually, thereby affecting the entire health system of the baby. The Harvard-led study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday where the researchers mentioned the broader ways in which Zika could impact babies.
The scientists tested 45 Brazilian babies who were born from mothers affected with the virus. They underwent brain scans of the newborns following which the report was prepared. It stated that the children who did not show any symptom of the infection were also likely to suffer from the effect of the infection later on. The discovery mentioned that the traces might remain in the blood of the babies unidentified and could take a dangerous form gradually as they grow up.
If a newborn remains infected with the Zika virus for over two months, he/she is more at a risk of getting infected and affected. No matter how early or late the mothers get infected with the virus during their pregnancy, the babies will automatically inherit it from them.
Earlier, the studies suggested that the babies, if affected by the virus, are born with a small head size and improper brain development. However, the latest study suggests that due to the virus’ ability to prevent brain cavities from draining cerebrospinal fluid properly, the babies might not show any symptoms of the infection. As a result, it is believed that they are not impacted by the virus. However, the fact is that in such cases, there is a possibility of the cavities bursting and collapsing the brain in the future while the infants are growing up, Engadget reported.
Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Pediatric neurologist William Dobyns confirmed that the Zika virus can start affecting the baby from three months ahead of its birth and continue to attack it even after birth. “Our brains are still developing until age 18 and beyond,” USA Today quoted Dobyns a saying. “The most important year of brain growth is the nine months before birth and the first year after.”