Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Brazilian MOH: Weekly Microcephaly Report - April 12th



For the third week in a row the number of new suspected microcephalic births in Brazil is down into the low 3 digits, with 109 new cases added to the investigation since the last report. 

This is less than half the weekly number we were seeing only a month ago, and less than 1/4th the weekly number from Dec-Jan. 

While the cause of this drop is unknown, a few possible factors include:
  • Brazil recently adopted a more stringent definition for microcephaly 
  • Much of Brazil was still in their winter dry season (with presumably fewer mosquitoes) when this week's birth cohort were in their 1st trimester
  • Brazil's mosquito control efforts and mosquito protection awareness efforts were starting to ramp up at that time as well

The number of confirmed microcephaly cases this week increased by 67, while the number of discarded cases increased by 252, leaving 3,836 still under investigation.  At this point, roughly 35% of fully investigated suspect cases have been confirmed as having microcephaly. 

The cases occurred in 416 municipalities, mostly in the Northeast. Other 3836 remain under investigation and 2,066 were discarded

Until April 9, it was confirmed 1,113 cases of microcephaly and other nervous system disorders, suggestive of congenital infection, throughout the country. In all, 7,015 suspected cases have been reported since the start of the investigation in October 2015, and 2,066 were discarded. Other 3,836 are under investigation. The information is the new epidemiological bulletin of the Ministry of Health, released on Tuesday (12), containing the information passed on by state health departments.

Of the total confirmed cases, 189 had laboratory confirmation to the Zika virus. However, the Ministry of Health points out that this figure does not represent adequately the total number of cases related to the virus. That is, the folder considers that there was infection Zika most of the mothers who had babies with a final diagnosis of microcephaly.

The 1,113 confirmed cases occurred in 416 municipalities located in 22 Brazilian states: Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Sergipe, Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Amapá, Amazonas , Pará, Rondônia, Distrito Federal, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Parana and Rio Grande do Sul. Already 2,066 cases were discarded because of normal examinations or submit microcefalias and / or changes in the central nervous system causes no infectious.

In the same period, there were 235 suspected deaths of microcephaly and / or alteration of the central nervous system after birth or during pregnancy (miscarriage or stillbirth). Of these, 50 were confirmed to microcephaly and / or alteration of the central nervous system. Other 155 remain under investigation and 30 were discarded.

It should be noted that the Ministry of Health is investigating all cases of microcephaly and other disorders of the central nervous system, informed by the states, and the possible relationship with the Zika virus and other congenital infections. Microcephaly may be caused by, various infectious agents beyond Zika as Syphilis, Toxoplasmosis, Other Infectious Agents, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus and Herpes Viral.
The Ministry of Health advises pregnant women to adopt measures to reduce the presence of the mosquito Aedes aegypti , with the elimination of breeding sites , and protect themselves from mosquito exposure, keeping doors and closed or screened windows, wear pants and long-sleeved shirt and use repellents allowed for pregnant women.

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