Brazilian Health Professional Doctor Sergio Cortes Said There Isn’t A Test To Identify The Zika Virus

Brazilian Health Professional Doctor Sergio Cortes Said There Isn’t A Test To Identify The Zika Virus

Every day people around the world are bitten by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes kill more people than any other animal. There are more than 3,500 species of mosquitoes living around the world, but only about 20 percent of them bite humans. But being bitten by one of those human blood sucking mosquitoes can cause several illnesses and in some cases death. Brazil’s top medical expert Doctor Sergio Cortes has done a considerable amount of research on the Aedes aegypti mosquito lately. That species is the mosquito responsible for the outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil.
Dr. Cortes posted his thoughts about Zika on his official website recently, and he said the Zika virus was not considered a major threat in the past because Zika symptoms were not life-threatening. They were relatively mild. Cortes said only one in five people with Zika know they have the virus. The other four people never developed symptoms. The symptoms; fever, rash, and muscle aches resemble the the symptoms of dengue and the chikungunya virus. Those viruses are carried by the same species of mosquito.
On his LinkedIn page, Dr. Cortes said there is no test to identify the Zika virus in humans because it acts like yellow fever and dengue. Researchers now believe that Zika may cross-react to those viruses and a mutated virus emerges that impacts humans in a number of unknown ways. The only way to detect the Zika virus is to take blood or tissue samples the first week of the infection and send them to a laboratory so it can be identified using a molecular testing process. In Brazil that’s hard to do especially in the Northeastern region of Brazil that is still more rural than urban.
The other concern is, if the Zika virus outbreak in South and Central America, as well as in the Caribbean is contributing to the rise in microcephaly cases, there is a strong suspicion that this Zika virus is different from the Asian and African Zika virus. In Africa and Asia, the Zika virus and microcephaly were not related even though there were a few cases of the birth defect reported in the same countries.
On the Dr. Cortes Facebook page, there are facts about the microcephaly babies that are born with small heads and brain damage. Dr. Cortes said in 15 percent of the reported cases of babies being born with small heads there isn’t any brain damage. The baby acts and responds normally. But in the other cases, the babies are born with underdeveloped brains and they experience intellectual deficits, development delays and hearing loss. Genetic abnormalities are the common cause, according to Dr. Cortes, but microcephaly can also be triggered by German measles, cytomegalovirus and toxoplasmosis. Dr. Cortes often tweets about the Zika virus and microcephaly.

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