The weekly Brazilian MOH Microcephaly report is out, and the number of suspected cases under investigation has increased by 89, while the number of confirmed microcephaly cases has increased by 50 over the previous week.
Both numbers are well below the weekly numbers we were seeing added only a couple of months ago.
Upon further investigation, another 114 have been discarded as not meeting the criteria for microcephaly, leaving the total remaining under investigation at 3257.
Microcephaly is the most apparent congenital defect at birth, but we've been warned by the CDC, NIH, and WHO that maternal Zika infection may produce other, less obvious neurological deficits in developing fetuses, and they may not become apparent until the child is much older.
Addressing these concerns, earlier this week Health Minister Ricardo Barros announced Brazil's MOH will investigate other Zika-related developmental issues at the opening of the 69th World Health Assembly in Geneva (see Brazil will investigate other Zika consequences in children).
This (translated) report from the Brazilian MOH.
The Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday (24), the Report of Epidemiological microcephaly related to week 20 of this year, until 21 May. The new report confirms 1,434 cases of microcephaly and other nervous system disorders, suggestive of congenital infection throughout the country.
The report gathers information sent weekly by state health departments. In total, they reported 7,623 suspected cases since the beginning of the investigation, in October 2015, and 3,257 remain under investigation. Other 2,932 were discarded because of normal tests, or because they have microcephaly and or malformations confirmed because no infectious or do not meet the case definition. The 1,434 confirmed cases in Brazil occurred in 517 municipalities located in 25 states of the federation. Of these cases, 208 were confirmed by specific laboratory criteria for Zika virus.
The Ministry of Health, however, points out that this figure does not represent adequately the total number of cases related to the virus. The folder considers that there was infection Zika most of the mothers who had babies with a final diagnosis of microcephaly. In relation to deaths in the same period, there were 285 suspected deaths of microcephaly and / or alteration of the central nervous system after delivery or during pregnancy (miscarriage or stillbirth) in the country. Of these, 60 were confirmed to microcephaly and / or alteration of the central nervous system. Other 187 are still under investigation and 38 were discarded.
The Ministry of Health says it 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 folder guides pregnant women adopt measures to reduce the presence of Aedes aegypti, the elimination of breeding, and protect themselves from mosquito exposure, keeping doors and windows closed or screened, wear pants and long sleeved shirts and use repellents allowed to pregnant women.