Apr 15, 2016

Zika Virus Update

There are now 346 cases of Zika confirmed in the continental United States, all in people who had recently traveled to Zika-prone countries, according to the most recent CDC report.

A Brazilian study released this week also links Zika to a second autoimmune disorder that resembles multiple sclerosis and involves a swelling of the brain and spinal cord. "Though our study is small, it may provide evidence that in this case, the virus has different effects on the brain than those identified in current studies," said Dr. Maria Lucia Brito, a neurologist at Restoration Hospital in Recife, Brazil. Six of 151 patients tested positive for Zika.

Scientists reported in the April edition of the New England Journal of Medicine that while evidence gathered does not provide conclusive proof that Zika causes microcephaly and other birth defects, an increasing amount of scientific research suggests that is the case. Still no need for panic.