Zika virus now linked to severe joint deformities in babies!
Researchers from Brazil's Recife, the city at the centre of the Zika epidemic, believe there may also be a link between Zika infection and a severe joint condition.
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Turns out there's more to fear from the game-changer Zika virus! The deadly virus, which has been linked to microcephaly – a birth defect where a baby's head is much smaller than expected – has now been associated with rare, but severe, joint deformities in babies.
Researchers from Brazil's Recife, the city at the centre of the Zika epidemic, believe there may also be a link between Zika infection and a severe joint condition after seven suspect cases were discovered.
The seven babies with suspected Zika infection had been born with hip, knee, ankle, elbow, wrist and/or finger joint problems that fit with a medical condition called arthrogryposis.
Lead researcher Vanessa van der Linden of the Barão de Lucena Hospital in Recife argues that 'congenital Zika virus syndrome,' a disease that describes birth defects caused by exposure to Zika virus in the womb, causes more than just microcephaly. She said it should be added to the list of potential causes of arthrogryposis.
The researchers suspect the Zika virus attacks brain nerve centres supplying the muscles around the joints, rather than the joints themselves, and scans of the babies' brains appear to support this idea., reported the BBC.
Dr Vanessa van der Linden and her team say they are now seeing limb joint problems in newborn babies that might be caused by Zika too.
Recently, scientists discovered that Zika can trigger a rare condition called Guillian-Barre syndrome – a rare discorder in which the body's immune system attacks the nerves - in adults.
Their findings have been published in the journal BMJ Open.