Zika virus

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Zi·ka vi·rus

a mosquito-borne virus of the genus Flavivirus (family Flaviviridae), found in parts of Africa and in Malaysia; it causes Zika fever.
[Zika, forest in Uganda, where first isolated]
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The findings showed that Zika virus induces high levels of inflammation in the blood vessels of the uterus and damages placental villi, the branch-like growths that help transfer oxygen and nutrients from maternal blood to the fetus.
Implementation of screening guidelines and testing for Zika virus is complicated by interpretation of test results and the need for confirmatory testing, which can delay diagnosis during a time-limited situation, such as pregnancy (5,6).
In February, the FDA first issued guidance recommending that only areas with active Zika virus transmission screen donated blood.
The Zika virus is generally not harmful to most people but poses a more serious risk to pregnant women as it can cause grave medical complications such as the birth defect microcephaly, characterized by an abnormally small head in newborn babies.
This surveillance in total yielded 2 more cases of laboratory confirmed Zika virus disease (samples collected during January and February 2017).
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare - Government of India (MoHFW) reported three laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus disease in Bapunagar area, Ahmedabad District, Gujarat, State, India," the global health body said in a statement.
Scientists at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported replication and persistence of Zika virus RNA in placentas of women who had pregnancy losses and in brain tissues of infants with microcephaly, US-based diagnostics company Advanced Cell Diagnostics said.
2] The World Health Organization has declared Zika virus disease to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on February 1, 2016.
The Department of Health (DOH) added that the baby girl's microcephaly was not caused by the Zika virus as they first suspected.
In a paper published online in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Julu Bhatnagar, PhD, of the Infectious Diseases Pathology Branch at the Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, and her coauthors reported a case series in 52 patients--8 infants with microcephaly who died and 44 women thought to have been infected with Zika virus during pregnancy.
1,2) Building on their expertise as diagnosticians and past experience with other emergent infectious diseases, ME/Cs will continue to be a valued link in the chain needed to safeguard public health from existing and emerging infectious disease threats, including Zika virus.