Zika virus that so long tormented the people living in Central and South America will soon be affecting the American mainland, according to a gestation map prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a recent study, the researchers have also found that the virus turns fetal brain slowly into liquid.
The mosquitos responsible for spreading the Zika virus are the same which spread the viruses like dengue or chikungunya. These sometimes result into outbreaks in Florida and Texas. Thus, there are high chances of the same thing occurring with the Zika.
The symptoms of Zika virus infection in adults are mild. But it can cause severe birth defects in babies whose mothers contracted the virus during pregnancy.
Microcephaly is one of the known defects associated with the Zika virus. It affects the development of the head and the brain, the Uproxx reported.
Studies recently found more direct links between the virus and brain defects. The virus apparently affects brain cells and kills them.
In a recent research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers tracked the development of a foetus whose mother contracted the virus on a trip to Central America, when she was 3 months pregnant.
The blood tests and the magnetic resonance images showed that the virus was slowly turning the baby’s brain into liquid over a course of nine weeks. At 21 week the woman aborted the foetus.
The CDC got together more than 300 local, state, and federal authorities and experts at its headquarters in Atlanta to prepare for the virus to hit the US mainland.
“The mosquitoes that carry Zika virus are already active in US territories, hundreds of travelers with Zika have already returned to the continental US, and we could well see clusters of Zika virus in the continental US in the coming months,” the Daily KOS quoted CDC Director Tom Frieden as saying in a statement prior to the meeting. “Urgent action is needed, especially to minimize the risk of exposure during pregnancy.”