The threat of Zika virus Australia is increasing gradually among nationals. In the midst of it, scientists have claimed that newborns are not only at the risk of microcephaly but are also subject to other health threats after the infection.
As of now, people had known about only one effect of the infection to an infant, but the BMJ published a new research on Tuesday in which scientists claimed that the virus not only affects the brain but also extends beyond it. Microcephaly is a condition where the head circumference of a Zika-infected newbie is smaller than the average size. This leads to mental and learning disabilities in children.
The new study, on the other hand, stated that if a child is infected with Zika virus in Australia or abroad, he is likely to suffer arthrogryposis. This is a condition in which an infant’s body joints are not completely formed, thereby preventing normal flexion and extension. The scientists urged for the addition of the said health condition on the list of effects of the infection on children.
The scientists studied the medical records of seven Zika-infected Brazilian infants while they were in their mothers’ wombs. They were diagnosed with joint malformation. It was observed that the infants were suffering from neurological damage. The most common were the formation of scar-like calcium deposits in the brain that did not allow its development. However, no physical abnormality was observed within the joints.
There were no signs of microcephaly found in those children, though. The children only suffered arthrogryposis, leaving them with clubfoot, dislocated hips and knees sized more than normal. “This disease goes beyond microcephaly, with other symptoms such as visual and hearing impairment, and unusual signs and symptoms different from other congenital infections,” the authors wrote.
According to Medical Daily, arthrogryposis leads to joint contractures, which occur when stretchy and flexible muscles harden and shorten. The effect of the condition is observed in the jaw, limbs and spine.