Risk of Zika virus transmission from mother to unborn child much higher than expected

FINDINGSAccording to a new study by UCLA researchers and colleagues conducted in Brazil, 65% of children born to mothers infected withthe Zikavirusalsotested positive for the mosquito-borneinfection— a much higher rate than expected.The findings indicatethat even babies whohave no outward neurological or other symptoms associated with Zika can still be infected with the virus andare potentially at risk offuturedevelopmental problems.  BACKGROUNDThe study representsthe first time that the mother-to-child transmission rate of Zika has been reportedfor a group of children who were tracked over several years — including follow-up testing and care. The researchers had been tracking the children, all born to Zika-infected women inRio de Janeiro, Brazil, since 2016, when Zikareached epidemic proportionsin that country.METHODThe researchers conducted blood and urine molecular tests for the Zika virus, as well asa Zika-specific antibody test that does not cross the placenta, on 130 children born to mothers with laboratory-confirmed Zika infection. Most children were initially tested in the first three months of life, and some were tested throughout their first year. A few children who initially tested negative were subsequently found to be infected.Given that most of the children tested were born after the virus stopped circulatingwidelyin Rio de Janeiro, it is unlikely that they were infected via a mosquito bite. Ofthosechildren whose mothers were infected in the fir...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

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