Just a photo of a child born with microcephaly is an unnerving event. The risk of a baby developing an unusually shaped head and an underdeveloped brain may be low, but that doesn’t mean much. If one baby is born with microcephaly in this day and age, it is outrageous, according to Brazilian medical expert and advisor, Dr. Sergio Cortes. Dr. Cortes has played a strategic role in the investigation of the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil. Cortes has examined microcephaly babies at birth, and he writes about those experiences on his official website.
Dr. Cortes does say there is no scientific proof that pairs the Zika virus with microcephaly, but he has witnessed the surge in microcephaly in the same areas where the Zika virus is infecting so many people. The epidemic is at a critical point. The Dr. Cortes emergency team has interviewed and taken blood from hundreds of pregnant women that contracted the virus, and he believes the results of new studies show there is a link between Zika and microcephaly.
A new article posted on the Dr. Cortes LinkedIn page also names the Zika virus as the cause of an outbreak of Guillain-Barré syndrome. That illness causes paralysis in people that were infected with the virus. The paralysis may only be temporary, but about 5 percent of people that have Guillain-Barré syndrome die.
Both illnesses should be preventable, according to Cortes Facebook posts. Modern medical treatments and the technology used to create vaccines and other preventable tools are sophisticated, and they can solve medical mysteries faster than the tools used 50 years ago.
Sergio recently tweeted that the Zika virus is turning out to be a formidable foe for modern technology. Researchers can’t solve those mysteries fast enough to prevent a world-wide epidemic, according to Dr. Cortes. And the World Health Organization agrees with him. The WHO recently put out a warning that said pregnant women should avoid traveling to 46 countries that have Zika virus outbreaks. The World Health Organization also warned that more than 4 million more people will be infected with Zika over the next six weeks.
Most scientists that are studying the fast-moving virus say 4 million is too low. Some experts say 10 million is closer to the number, but that number is questionable as well. More than 20 percent of the people that are infected with Zika, don’t know they are infected, so they never report it. The virus could stay in their saliva, urine, and semen indefinitely. The virus could cause other medical issues months or years after the initial infection, according to some scientists that are studying the genetic code of the virus. That news is creating an element of fear all over the world.