America's North Shore Journal

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Category: Original writing

Latest on Microcephaly in Brazil

photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim

About this time in 2015, Brazilian public health authorities began to receive reports of an unusual number of cases of a birth defect called microcephaly in newborns. It appears that the defect, with other serious defects, is associated with some pregnant mothers contracting a Zika viral illness. This illness was passed to their fetus and seems to have caused, or at least contributed to the development, of these neurological defects.

Asymptomatic Zika Infections

photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim

One of the biggest unknowns about Zika viral illnesses is the number of patients who contract the disease but have a sub-clinical or asymptomatic illness. The incidence of asymptomatic Zika is critical to understanding how the illness is spread. Can an asymptomatic patient pass the virus to another person through sex? Can an asymptomatic patient infect a mosquito that bites him and infect the mosquito enough that the mosquito can transmit the virus to another human?

Zika in Florida May Now Be Local

Local transmission of zika

The July 27 report from the Florida Department of Health contained the news that an additional two cases of Zika viral illness are being investigated by public health authorities as non-travel related. The total for the state is now four such cases. The DoH has not confirmed if the four patients contracted their illnesses through local transmission of the virus, through sex or by some other means.

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