20% Of babies with Zika complications do not have microcephaly
The Brazilian study - Microcephaly and the history of red spots during pregnancy are insufficient criteria to identify the consequences of Zika virus infection in newborns.
The finding is part of a study commissioned by the Ministry of Health, published on Wednesday (29) by the British scientific journal The Lancet. The results of the study suggest that the signs and symptoms of neurological changes are included as criteria for infant screening regardless of the presence or absence of microcephaly.
The study was conducted in partnership with the Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel) Brazilian Society of Medical Genetics, the Latin American Center for Perinatology of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) and Harvard University, United States. A total of 1,501 live births were analyzed, which had already been investigated by the state and municipal health secretariats, and this is the largest study ever done on the subject in the world.
The study shows that, out of every five children with congenital infection by Zika virus - confirmed or probable - one did not present microcephaly, indicating that 80% of the children were caught using the research using the microcephaly and rash criteria. ? We are tailoring our protocols to these findings to broaden the investigations and improve our surveillance system. At this moment, Brazil and the world have accumulated more knowledge about the disease and we can, with this learning, improve the monitoring of the consequences of congenital infection by Zika virus ?, explained the general coordinator of Public Health Emergency Surveillance and Response, of the Ministry of Health, Wanderson Oliveira.
At the beginning of the investigation of the epidemic, in November 2015, the Ministry of Health adopted a more sensitive case definition to identify microcephaly, with a 33 cm cephalic perimeter criterion for newborns, born of both sexes. This definition was later changed to 32 cm. The adoption of these more sensitive definitions allowed us to identify that 20% of the children with some condition of clinical importance did not present microcephaly. Therefore, this is an important aspect being considered in order to adjust the surveillance model of Microcephaly for Congenital Changes.
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