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To be confused about this Zika virus 'threat' ?

(81 Posts)
batshitlady Wed 03-Feb-16 08:10:33

It seems only 270 cases of microcephaly (babies born with small heads and brain impairment) have actually ben cvonfirmed in Brazil (pop' 200,000,000) and of those 270, only six were found to have the Zika virus?

Yet governments all over the world are claiming that Zika causes microcephaly. Doesn't make sense does it?

redhat Wed 03-Feb-16 08:14:51

3670 cases in brazil currently. Not 270. Up massively in number and therefore likely to increase significantly over the coming months.

I don't really understand the point of your thread. Are you trying to undermine the professional medical information out there?

scaevola Wed 03-Feb-16 08:15:35

You are right that the causal effect has not been proven, nor is it known whether there is a time in pregnancy which is particularly vulnerable.

You do however seem to have read a garble of the figures. It's about 3,000 cases clustered in parts of the country where mosquitos are present (normal background rate 160 across the whole country).

The first case in US in a non-traveller has been confirmed (her sexual partner had visited an affected area).

PurpleDaisies Wed 03-Feb-16 08:16:45

The WHO are clear that although the link is strongly suspected, it had yet to be scientifically proven. Surely it is right to take it seriously in the meantime?

TheoriginalLEM Wed 03-Feb-16 08:16:56

yeah they are just after the publicity hmm

JessieMcJessie Wed 03-Feb-16 08:17:39

I'm thinking the WHO are probably marginally better at statistical analysis than you are.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 03-Feb-16 08:18:54

I think the understanding of Zika is still in its infancy. However, the number of microcephaly cases seem to have gone up from 0.5-1 case in 10,000 live births to 20 cases in 10,000 live births a 20-40 fold increase in Brazil according to the cdc

i'm guessing that most pregnant women in Brazil still won't have been exposed to zika yet, so it is unlikely that we have seen a true representation of how many infected pregnant women are likely to see birth defects in their child.

Mistigri Wed 03-Feb-16 09:16:45

It's over 4000 now, and it is likely (given the rate of increase) that there will be many more.

I don't think anyone is claiming that it DOES cause microencephaly, but that the epidemic is associated with such a rise, and that the increase has no other obvious explanation. Newspapers may not be reporting the subtleties, though.

Unlike other public health threats, it doesn't seem to be dangerous for adults, but there are huge public health implications in the event of a surge in the number of disabled babies, quite apart from the distress caused to those directly affected.

I think the reaction so far seems to have been proportionate.

Katenka Wed 03-Feb-16 09:26:24

There are reports today that it can be sexually transmitted too.

I think the response is fine

TheoriginalLEM Wed 03-Feb-16 09:28:28

What answers are you hoping to get answered by this thead OP?

There is a significant!! rise in the cases on microcephaly in the Americas. SOMETHING is causing this - The Zika virus is carried by mosquitoes and whilst it hasn't been "proven" the epidemiology points to the incidences of the condition to be associated with the incidence of the mosquito in question. I don't think it is a major jump, in the light of the situation to make the assumption that there is a direct connection and assign the appropriate resources to tackling the problem. Lets hope in a way that it is the mosquito and the zika virus, because otherwise it is an unknown entity and we are even more on the back foot.

Baffled by the OP, i wonder if she will come back and explain??

CauliflowerBalti Wed 03-Feb-16 09:31:02

It's being likened to the early days of HIV/AIDS by scientists. But you know. Feel free to hop down to Brazil and TTC. It's a free world and all that.

SqueegyBeckinheim Wed 03-Feb-16 09:36:40

This morning on the news they also mentioned that there's a possible risk of some kind of long term side effect that isn't known about yet. At the moment as far as anyone knows Zika causes nothing more than mild, flu like symptoms, but it hasn't been observed for long enough to find out what the long term implications of having been infected are. Hopefully there are none, the birth defects are bad enough, but it would be complacent to assume that there are none.

EdithWeston Wed 03-Feb-16 09:37:02

I've just heard on the news that the US blood service is asking those who have travelled to affected areas to refrain from giving blood for 28 days following return. Nothing about his on the Blood UK site though.

It does seem there are still a lot of unknowns.

This one seems particularly worrying, but it's far from proven

paranoiddroid Wed 03-Feb-16 09:37:05

I read a paper, published this week, where the researchers observed severe brain abnormalities in 2 pregnant women in Brazil who had had symptoms. They later confirmed the presence of Zyka from amniocentesis. I think it is pretty clear that it effects brain tissue, which viruses in the same class like dengue, yellow fever etc have been known to for some time. Its the details that they need to establish - why the sudden increase, has the virus mutated and become more virulent etc

paranoiddroid Wed 03-Feb-16 09:37:54

the foetuses not the pregnant women!

PaulAnkaTheDog Wed 03-Feb-16 09:41:26

When the WHO issues information, deeming a virus etc. to be a serious problem, I take them seriously.

ZiggyFartdust Wed 03-Feb-16 09:41:57

I hate this type of "I've read a couple of articles and now I know more than the WHO/aciwntists /drs" post.

Of course it all makes sense, its just that you haven't understood it.

ZiggyFartdust Wed 03-Feb-16 09:42:29


OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 03-Feb-16 09:47:16

I do wonder how this is going to affect the Olympic games. It will have been an absolutely huge investment by Brazil to get this far and they are saying it absolutely will go ahead.

I can imagine many athletes being unwilling to take the risk just because so much is unknown at present. It will of course be their winter and perhaps the risk will be less?

Elendon Wed 03-Feb-16 09:59:24

There has long been a suspicion that there is a sexual transmission via semen. It is not possible to prove though. Men are now being encouraged to use condoms for at least six months following infection. However, with the majority of people not adversely showing symptoms, it's turning out to be a terrifying prospect and why WHO have rightly intervened. Changes in vector transmission is always to be taken seriously. It complicates the development of developing an effective vaccine.

EdithWeston Wed 03-Feb-16 10:00:44

I think the athletes will still go, because it's career pinnacle for them (and the female ones will be using effective contraception because pregnancy would derail their training, and the male ones would see condoms for a couple of months after return as worth it).

The teams around them and the officials would probably still go as well.

What is more likely to be hit are all the other people who would be travelling as spectators, who may well decide it's not worth the risk. With all the knock on to hotels, food outlets, projected sales of merchandise etc.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 03-Feb-16 10:03:45

I think it might depend on what happens next, OYBBK.

For the moment, unless you are pregnant, contracting zika doesn't seem to be an issue for most people. If that turns out not to be the case, then they may reconsider their decision not to cancel.

VertigoNun Wed 03-Feb-16 10:04:59

There was an adolescent on Victoria Derbyshire just now. He seemed a lovely young man, he has the condition that has expanded in live births . I felt bad for him as he said he has daily headaches.

I really don't think it's the end of the world if 20% of the population is born this way. Though I am happy to care for children with additional needs and chronic pain. The pain they suffer bothers me the most.

As people with disabilities it's quite sad for us seeing people react like this, it feels as if others really only want children as long as they are healthy. sad nobody wants a child to suffer pain or hardships. It's tough hearing that people are being told not to have a baby for two years. How will people with this condition feel as they age knowing others are reacting as they are at the thought of having someone like them in their family? sad

TheoriginalLEM Wed 03-Feb-16 10:09:42

Good point Edith, it has seemed less of a worry for me, aged 45 and not having any more children, easy to use contraception etc, but as someone pointed out up thread; Something has changed, has there been a mutation that has affected the virus' virulence? Will this mutation have lead to other complications. It is very worrying indeed and whilst it is easy for me to say as i have and had no intention of travel to the area, i would definately be thinking twice. I am quite an anxious person though.

TheoriginalLEM Wed 03-Feb-16 10:14:22

Vertigo - really? My friend's son has microcephaly, he is now wheelchair bound (aged 12), still in nappies, non-verbal and has pretty poor quality of life. Its not just having a small head hmm And no, it wont be 20% of the population either (thnkfully).

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