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Mothers With Zika Virus 20 Times More Likely To Have Children With Birth Defects

Update Date: Mar 05, 2017 09:38 AM EST

The Zika virus took its toll in 2016 wherein thousands of mothers and their babies were highly affected by the disease derived from mosquitos. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) then announced that mothers who were struck by Zika are 20 times more prone to have children with birth defects.

Zika virus had an outbreak in 2016 which started in February. The outbreak was stopped by October, which health care experts announced that it was too soon as the virus was not fully abolished, nor were they able to find a vaccine just yet. Aside from microcephaly, it was also added that mothers who were diagnosed with Zika virus are 20 percent more likely to have a child with a birth defect.

The virus is derived from mosquito bites, wherein it became a major threat to pregnant women in Latin America, specifically in Brazil. Upon doing further study on the virus, researchers then came up with more complications that the virus could cause. It is the number one cause of microcephaly, and it can be passed on to via unprotected sex as well.

Aside from microcephaly, CNN mentioned that women who were affected by Zika are more likely to have children with birth defects as well. Some children are suffering from spina bifida, anencephaly, and other brain related complications.

"I think women should take that this further demonstrates how important it is to prevent Zika virus infection during pregnancy," Peggy Honein, an epidemiologist and chief of the birth defects branch at the CDC stated during an interview. "These devastating effects have a major increase over the baseline when Zika virus infection occurs during pregnancy."

Zike virus cases continually increase over time and it was mentioned that a vaccine was already formulated to protect women from the dreaded disease. Despite the availability, however, the researchers explained that other outbreak needs to occur to check the vaccine's effectivity.

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