Zika Has Not Resulted In One Single Case Of Microcephaly In Singaporean Babies

November 30th, 2017

Zika Has Not Resulted In One Single Case Of Microcephaly In Singaporean Babies

We all remember when news about the Zika virus dominated headlines. During the summer of 2016 the world became aware of the devastating consequences that result from Zika infection. For most people the virus was not a concern, but pregnant women were an exception. It is now common knowledge that the virus often resulted in babies being born with malformed craniums. We know this condition as microcephaly. When the Zika outbreak exploded, American news sources focused on affected areas that included South and Central America, the Caribbean and, of course, the United States. It goes without saying that these regions of the world saw the worst of the Zika virus. The virus infected more people in these regions than anywhere else on the planet. However, it is rarely mentioned that other regions of the world also struggled with Zika outbreaks. For example, the virus infected numerous people living within regions of southeast Asia, especially Singapore. Despite the hundreds of pregnant Zika victims that were living in Singapore, none of them gave birth to children with microcephaly. The reasons as to why Singaporean pregnant women avoided birthing babies with microcephaly is still not entirely clear, but there are several theories.

According to an infectious disease expert and university professor, Duane Gubler, when Zika first appeared in the 1960s it was contained solely to regions in Africa and southeast Asia. During this time, no cases of Zika-induced microcephaly had been found among the five thousand known cases. It was only when the virus made its way to French Polynesia that pregnant women began birthing babies with microcephaly. However, once the virus made its way to French Polynesia, experts had tracked over thirty thousand cases. It could be that more Zika cases simply means more cases of microcephaly. It has also been speculated that different genetic strains of Zika exist. Some of these strains may be more likely to cause microcephaly in infected infants than other strains. Also, these differing strains could correspond to the region of the world where the virus is located. In any case, medical professionals have found a clear link between the Zika virus and microcephaly.

Do you think that there are multiple genetic strands of the Zika virus?



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November 2017