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.
Tag: Zika in Brazil
The Brazilian Ministry of Health has released the latest data concerning reported cases of microcephaly in that nation and its possible links to Zika viral illnesses. The report is titled “Microcefalia: 1.749 casos confirmados no Brasil“, and represents about 37 weeks of reports, through July 23, 2016. The country has averaged 120 new reports of the birth defect over the last nine weeks.
In a June 30 post, I discussed a study published in the Lancet, titled “Congenital Zika virus syndrome in Brazil: a case series of the first 1501 live births with complete investigation”. (1) I had raised a number of issues and I wrote the corresponding author for some clarification. I have received a response from Prof. Cesar G Victora.
The Lancet has just released online an important study about the occurrence of microcephaly in Brazil and its relationship to maternal Zika viral illnesses. “Congenital Zika virus syndrome in Brazil: a case series of the first 1501 live births with complete investigation”  presents the first analysis of the medical records and associated data from the microcephaly reports investigated by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. The data is a significant addition to what is known about the situation in Brazil. The study’s authors, however, raise some questions and their conclusions may not be well supported by their data.