According to a new study, pregnant women who showed positive signs of microcephaly are at risk of facing serious fetus problems.
The study analysed the health status of infants and fetuses, including two new births. It surfaced several problems like hardening of brain cells, infection in amniotic fluid and small body size.
Researchers analysed the health conditions of 88 pregnant women in Rio de Janerio which had reported rashes on their bodies. Of those, 72 showed positive signs of Zika and were at different pregnancy stages, according to a report by NPR.
In an ultrasound report, one-third of the women reported to have caught Zika infection, which showed fatal health anomalies in women.
Researchers performed ultrasounds on 42 women who had Zika infections and 16 women who had no Zika infection.
Following the ultrasounds, 30 percent of the women revealed fatal abnormalities in comparison to women who had no Zika infection.
Five women also reported a condition called “intrauterine growth restriction” – where the “whole fetus was small”. While seven women reported lesions on the brain or spinal cord with other nervous system problems, according to a report by D News.
“Zika definitely causes the problems. We think is only the tip of the iceberg,” said study co-author Dr. Karin Nielsen-Saines, a professor of clinical pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Saines said that women were tested on the basis of “virus’s genetic material”. This approach turned more positive than searching for antibodies, or proteins in immune system.
As earlier studies had indicated probabilities of Zika virus, the new study provides strong evidences of link between Zika and birth defects. Earlier women were suspected of having Zika with tests showing no concrete status of virus in their body.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist and a senior associate at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Center for Health Security says: “This is the closest we’ve gotten to causation.”
The Zika virus believed to have been linked with neurological disorder- microcephaly, has firmly taken its position in Central and South America.