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December 9, 2016: Yale Researchers Find Another Complication of Zika, Unusual in Newborns

“A team of researchers in Brazil and Yale School of Public Health have discovered another complication of Zika.

“This one usually not found in newborns.

“A boy at three months old, is the first case reported of another complication due to Zika.

“’This was a case of a newborn, who was born with birth defects of Zika virus but also developed glaucoma,’ says Dr. Albert Ko at Yale School of Public Health.

“He co-authored the study.

“Dr. Ko has worked closely with local scientists for years, in a clinic in Salvador, Brazil, where the impact of Zika was first detected.

“They made the diagnosis earlier this year.

“Glaucoma can lead to blindness but it was easily treated by a simple operation.

“’We’ve identified a whole slew of cases, more than 10 cases in different parts in different cities of Brazil,’ said Dr. Ko.

“The long term research collaboration in Brazil raises another huge concern, the different risk factors and forms of Zika emerging.

“’For example in the southern regions of Brazil or in Colombia, we’re seeing much less lower rates of these severe birth defects but they are seeing other complications that maybe less obvious but equally important,’ he says.

“There is no clear answer.

“’The question at hand and many of us researchers but also clinicians and public health officials are trying to understand is why certain women who are exposed to Zika virus during pregnancy will have babies who have these severe birth defects while other women may have babies who maybe will be unaffected or have milder birth defects,’ he said.

“Dr. Ko is among those who disagree with the decision by the World Health Organization to no longer designate Zika a public health emergency.

“Still too many uncertainties he says and Zika continues to spread, especially in Southeast Asia.

“’We’re not there yet,’ said Dr. Ko, ‘We still don’t have good diagnostics, we still don’t have a good way to treat pregnant women affected by the virus and we don’t have an effective way to prevent the disease.’"

Source: WTHN News 8

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