Tuesday November 20, 2018

Zika Virus can lead to paralysis, may also have serious adverse effects on Heart

The findings are scheduled to be presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session on March 18 in d in Washington, DC

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FILE - Aedes aegypti mosquitos, potential carriers of the Zika virus, are photographed in a laboratory at the University of El Salvador, in San Salvador, Feb. 3, 2016. Researchers have found that during the height of the viral epidemic the incidence of the paralytic illness Guillain-Barre was 100 times the number of cases usually seen.(VOA)
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New York, March 11, 2017: The deadly Zika virus, which is already known to cause birth defects and a neurological condition that can lead to paralysis, may have serious adverse effects on the heart, says a study.

In a study of a small group of adult patients with Zika and no previous history of cardiovascular disease, all but one developed a heart rhythm problem and two-thirds had evidence of heart failure, the researchers said.

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“We know that other mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue fever and chikungunya virus, can affect the heart, so we thought we might see the same with Zika. But we were surprised by the severity, even in this small number of patients,” said the study’s lead author Karina Gonzalez Carta, cardiologist and research fellow at Mayo Clinic in the US.

The findings are scheduled to be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 66th Annual Scientific Session on March 18 in d in Washington, DC.

The nine patients (six were female, and mean age was 47) were seen at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Caracas, Venezuela, within two weeks of having Zika-type symptoms.

They reported symptoms of heart problems, most commonly palpitations followed by shortness of breath and fatigue.

Only one patient had any previous cardiovascular problems (high blood pressure), and tests confirmed that all of the patients had active Zika infection.

Patients underwent an initial electrocardiogram (EKG), a test that shows the electrical activity of the heart, and in eight of the patients, the EKG suggested heartbeat rate or rhythm concerns.

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 These findings prompted further examination which showed serious arrhythmias (improper beating of the heart) in eight patients and heart failure in six cases.

The patients have been followed since July 2016, and none of their cardiac issues have resolved, but symptoms have improved following treatment for heart failure or atrial fibrillation, Carta said.

It is known that Zika can cause microcephaly, a severe birth defect in babies born to women infected with the virus, and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a neurological condition that can lead to muscle weakness and, in severe cases, paralysis.

“Following this research, we want patients who are suffering from Zika symptoms also to be aware of the cardiac symptoms because they might not connect the two,” Carta said. (IANS)

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Fetal Microcephaly Not Found In The Zika Virus Strain Of Rajasthan

In India, the first outbreak was reported in Ahmedabad in the beginning of 2017

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Nurses set up a mosquito tent over a hospital bed, as part of a precautionary protocol for patients who are infected by Zika at Farrer Park Hospital in Singapore Sept. 2, 2016 (VOA)

Zika virus strains linked to fetal microcephaly were not found in Rajasthan, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday.

Microcephaly is a birth defect in which babies are born with extremely small heads.

“Advanced molecular studies of zika virus strains, carried out through Next Generation Sequencing suggest that the known mutations linked to fetal microcephaly and high transmissibility of zika virus in aedes mosquitoes are not present in the current zika virus strain that has affected Rajasthan,” a statement by the Ministry said.

Zika
Aedes aegypti mosquitos, potential carriers of the Zika virus, are photographed in a laboratory at the University of El Salvador, in San Salvador, Feb. 3, 2016. Researchers have found that during the height of the viral epidemic the incidence of the paralytic illness Guillain-Barre was 100 times the number of cases usually seen.(VOA)

It said the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV) had sequenced five zika virus strains collected at different time points of the Jaipur outbreak, which has affected 135 persons.

However, the government is maintaining high vigil of the possibility of adverse pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to zika virus as the strain may mutate in future or some other unknown host factors may play a role in microcephaly and other birth defects.

The Ministry said the situation is being reviewed on a daily basis.

Around 2,000 samples were tested for zika virus, of which 159 positive cases have been confirmed.

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FILE – A worker of the Ministry of Public Health and Population fumigates in the street against mosquito breeding to prevent diseases such as malaria, dengue and Zika in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Feb. 15, 2016. VOA

“Adequate numbers of testing kits have been provided to the Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratories,” the statement said.

Rajasthan government has been supplied with Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material to create awareness about zika virus disease and its prevention strategies.

All pregnant mothers in the area are being monitored through National Health Mission (NHM). Extensive surveillance and vector control measures are being taken up in the area as per protocol by the state government.

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FILE – A mother holds her son who is 4-months old and born with microcephaly, in Olinda, near Recife, Brazil, Feb. 11, 2016. Researcher Carlos Pardo says that during the height of the Zika outbreak the magnitude of the paralytic disease Guillain-Barre was similar to that of microcephaly but went underreported. (VOA)

Zika virus disease is an emerging disease currently being reported by 86 countries worldwide. Symptoms of zika virus disease are similar to other viral infections such as dengue, and include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache.

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In India, the first outbreak was reported in Ahmedabad in the beginning of 2017 and the second in July 2017 from Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu.

It is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern vide World Health Organization’s notification issued on November 18, 2016. (IANS)