As most are aware, the Zika virus has been linked recently to the birth defect microcephaly, when contracted by a mom-to-be during the early months of pregnancy. Well, a recent study seems to reveal that Zika can also cause hearing loss in infants whose moms have be infected by the disease while pregnant. In fact, it seems that six percent of these little ones can suffer from a loss of hearing, due to Zika.
A Brazilian research team reviewed 70 babies in the country who had a link to microcephaly, at the hands of Zika. As such, hearing tests were performed and close to six percent of these babies had experienced hearing loss. As such, the team concluded that a congenital Zika infection could be thought of as a risk for hearing loss.
However, hearing loss isn’t the only thing to worry about as it relates to Zika and newborns. Another new study around the virus seems to reveal that the virus can exist and cause harm to infants for as long as two months after they are born. The report outlined a situation regarding an infant boy, born in Brazil, earlier this year. His mother developed Zika in the 26th week of her pregnancy, and while the virus can spread via mosquitoes, it seemed the women contracted the disease via sexual contact with the boy’s father, who had just travelled to a region suffering from Zika. While the child appeared normal at birth, with no signs of Zika, an MRI brain scan revealed he suffered from neurological abnormalities. In addition, the youngster showed signs of the virus in his saliva, urine, and blood at 54 days old, and only in his blood at 67 days. Still, thankfully, the blood test at eight months revealed no signs of Zika.
However, it is important to note, that the study team did comment that at six months, the boy did reveal a delay when it came to neuro-psychomotor developmental, which included muscle spasticity and rigidness.
MSN reported that sadly Brazil seems the hardest hit by the virus, with thousands of babies being born with microcephaly to date. Still, there have been reported Zika cases in the U.S., and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have currently placed an advisory warning against travel to a region where an active Zika transmission is running rapid, for women who are pregnant. Partners of pregnant women are also strongly advised to use protection when it comes to sexual contact during pregnancy.