Tuesday October 22, 2019

Video on Zika Virus: Many questions remain unanswered

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Zika virus

– Dr. Munish Kumar Raizada
Watch this latest video on Zika virus.

Last year, it was Ebola virus that causes a global alarm and anxiety. Now it is Zika virus.

The World Health Organization is scrambling to address this virus that’s spreading rapidly through Latin America and the Caribbean. The virus has been linked to birth defects and, in adults, to a type of paralysis. Experts have lots of unanswered questions, as do ordinary citizens who spoke to VOA. More from health reporter Carol Pearson…

Thus, it emerges that this is causing alarm in Latin America. Many cases of newborn babies born with micro-cephaly (with the smaller size of the head) have been attributed to this virus.

But wait a minute!

Scientists say, they are not yet sure whether Zika virus is to be directly blamed for causing micro-cephaly (causal relationship) or is it something else (other factors) that are playing a role.

Zika virus is transmitted through mosquitoes. Thus, avoiding mosquito-bite is the way to prevent it. This virus can also be transmitted through sex.

Here is an update from Center for Disease Control (CDC) on the areas/countries affected by Zika Virus (as of February 2016):

  • Prior to 2015, such virus outbreaks occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands.
  • In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed virus infections in Brazil.
  • Currently, outbreaks are occurring in many countries.
  • Zika virus will continue to spread and it will be difficult to determine how and where the virus will spread over time.
  • India has not seen any case of this virus as yet. In the USA, about 52 cases of travel -associated Zika virus have been reported. No locally acquired case has been reported as yet.
  • This video is brought to you by NewsGram in collaboration with Voice of America.
  • The author is a Chicago based board certified Neonatologist and editor-in-chief of NewsGram.

Next Story

Rotavirus Relates to Development of Type 1 Diabetes

Researchers suggests that Rotavirus infection might play a role in the generation of Type 1 Diabetes

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Diabetes
Rotavirus vaccination can contribute to the primary prevention of Type 1 Diabetes. Pixabay

Researchers from the University of Melbourne have found that rotavirus infection might play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes.

Rotavirus remains the major cause of infantile gastroenteritis worldwide, although the advent of vaccination has substantially decreased associated mortality.

Following the recent introduction of rotavirus vaccination, there has been a 15 per cent decrease in the incidence of type 1 diabetes in Australian children under four years of age.

“Vaccination against rotavirus may have the additional benefit in some children of being a primary prevention for type 1 diabetes,” said the study’s lead author Leonard C. Harrison.

Diabetes
The recent introduction of rotavirus vaccination, there has been a 15 per cent decrease in the incidence of type 1 Diabetes in Australian children. Pixabay

The study published in the journal PLOS suggested that rotavirus vaccination could contribute to the primary prevention of this autoimmune disease.

This finding complements human and animal studies implicating rotavirus in the development of type 1 diabetes in genetically susceptible children.

In the article, the research team begin by reviewing molecular evidence supporting their hypothesis and point out the association between rotavirus infection and serum islet autoantibodies.

Diabetes
Rotavirus infection might play a role in the development of type 1 Diabetes. Pixabay

The results showed that rotavirus infection-induced pancreatic pathology, as well as environmental factors that promote the rise in the incidence of type 1 diabetes.

After reviewing population-level data, the study suggested that rotavirus vaccination might be associated with a decrease in the incidence of type 1 diabetes.

According to the researchers, it will be important to identify which children are most likely to be protected by rotavirus vaccination.

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Moreover, future studies should aim to reveal disease mechanisms and directly demonstrate whether rotavirus infects human pancreas prior to the onset of islet autoimmunity or type 1 diabetes. (IANS)