Scientists around the globe are focusing on the Zika virus. There is enough circumstantial evidence about the relationship between the virus and the disease known as microcephaly to say that Zika may be the cause of more microcephaly cases. At least, that’s what the medical experts in Brazil are saying. Dr. Sergio Cortes and a team of Epidemiological Surveillance experts believe that the Zika virus has turned the Northeastern region of Brazil into a hub for microcephaly cases. Dr. Cortes talks about the Zika virus and microcephaly on his official website.
But there are other medical experts that say the “Awareness Effect” may be causing the rise in infants with birth defect. Those experts say the massive uptick in microcephaly may not be associated with Zika even though the virus has been found in the amniotic fluid of pregnant women, and the brains of infected babies that didn’t survive.
Those medical experts say a rise in microcephaly cases in Brazil started in 2014 and that is a year before the Zika virus arrived in the country. Most of the cases of microcephaly aren’t reported in the Northeastern region of Brazil because of the underdeveloped conditions in that region. The same is true for the Zika virus. The virus has infected more people that the cases reported partly because symptoms don’t show up in some people, and other people just don’t report they are sick.
But when Brazilian officials discovered a massive amount of Zika virus cases in 2015 they increased their efforts to find babies that may have been harmed by the virus. All the press and the attention started to freak out the people living in the area, and the doctors that treated them were freaked out too.
Doctors started looking for microcephaly because of the Zika virus outbreak and they started to report cases they didn’t report in the past because they were borderline cases or they were not microcephaly at all. There is an indication that doctors in the Northeastern region may have underreported microcephaly cases before the Zika virus outbreak, according to Dr. Cortes and that throws a lot of mud in the scientific water.
Dr. Cortes continues to get to the bottom of this virus and birth defect nightmare. He posts information about the virus on his LinkedIn page. And on his Facebook page there are a number of comments about microcephaly and the Zika virus. Cortes also tweets his followers new info about the situation in Brazil.