Zika outbreak in Brazil completes a year 1,3 million confirmed cases

The cases of microcephaly reached 1.271 confirmed infection of Zika virus. Others 3,5 thousand cases are being investigated.
06/05/2016 13h18 - Updated 6/05/2016 13h20
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A year has passed since that seemed more an outbreak of dengue fever has turned into a struggle waged by researchers, authorities, health professionals, rulers, and especially the citizen, to prevent the proliferation of the mosquito that transmits the virus zika, causing at least 1.271 cases of microcephaly, confirmed by the Ministry of Health. Were at least 7.343 notifications from the start of the investigations, until the last day 30 of April. Second paste, 2.492 cases were discarded and others 3.580 cases are still being investigated.

In early February 2015, Doctors in the Northeast of Brazil noted an increase in the number of people complaining about a mild illness, with or without fever, characterized by rash, fatigue, joint pain and conjunctivitis. The illness was brief and spontaneous recovery. A mild form of dengue, transmitted by a mosquito in the country, It was suspected, but the tests were negative in most samples. chikungunya, another disease transmitted by mosquitoes, first detected in 1952 in Africa, It was also suspected. Once again, the test results were negative.

In March, Brazil informed the World Health Organization (WHO) that near 7.000 cases of a disease characterized by rash had been reported in six states of the Northeast Region. Laboratories had conducted a battery of tests in more than 400 Blood samples; 13% samples were positive for dengue, but negative for many other viruses known to cause rashes. The causative agent has remained elusive.

The first promising clue came at the end of April a laboratory in Bahia, where researchers have begun to suspect that the disease could be transmitted in areas with dense population of mosquitoes. A test was conducted to zika, an exotic and little understood virus, never seen before in the Americas. Although the result was positive, doubts remain. Tests for zika are technically challenging, since the virus cross-reacts with the dengue virus and chikungunya, both present in the country at the time. Although verified in tests in the reference laboratory identification of Brazil Zika virus in various samples, no one even knew what it could mean.

New discovery

The discovery was surprising, but difficult to interpret. The appearance of a virus into a new geographic area is always cause for concern, since the population has no pre-existing immunity to slow the virus. The epidemic can be explosive, quickly filling health services to patients and concerned. There is another concern: virus from the same family of flavírus, as zika, They are known to suffer small genetic changes by living in the midst of a vulnerable population that helps to have epidemic potential. Despite the changes are small and their meanings misunderstood, epidemic strains may surprise on how the virus evolves, sometimes behaves unexpectedly.

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