Zika Virus Symptoms: Hearing Loss in Babies Confirmed

Zika virus

Medical experts have confirmed that newborns infected with Zika virus suffer from hearing loss, which is yet another health issue being linked to the disease in babies.

Seventy babies whose mothers suffered from the infection were chosen for a Brazilian study that aimed at confirming other symptoms the virus shows. After the study was conducted, it was found that around 6 percent of them suffered from hearing loss, which added to the list of symptoms the baby showed due to their mother’s infection contracted during pregnancy.

The study was published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s on Tuesday that comprised the weekly report on death and disease. The scientists confirmed the reports of declined audibility among infants when they are born to Zika-infected mothers. The babies on whom the study was conducted were born between November and May. They were attended and treated by experts at the Hospital Agamenon Magalhaes in Recife, Brazil. The city is the epicenter of the infection outbreak in the nation.

Earlier, the conditions of microcephaly and arthrogryposis were reported as symptoms seen in infants. However, now another condition has come into existence, which is the loss of hearing ability in babies. Microcephaly is a condition where babies suffer from deteriorated head size and declined brain abilities, while arthrogryposis is a condition where babies have joint issues.

According to USA Today, there are a number of viruses that cause hearing losses in babies. Some of them include German measles or rubella, cytomegalovirus and syphilis. University of Utah School of Medicine’s pediatric neurology professor James Bale claimed that if Zika virus followed the similar pattern of causing hearing loss as it is in the case of other viruses, the hearing loss could be permanent in babies.

Scientists said that though other viruses show delayed hearing loss symptoms in babies gradually, they might get worse with time. Hence, it has been suggested in the new study that babies expected to have Zika virus infection must undergo hearing tests, regardless of the fact that the symptoms would be instantly detected.

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