Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Brazilian MOH: 2400+ Microcephalic Cases Under Investigation

Week 4 Epidemiological Report - Brazil's MOH


In a normal month, Brazil would be expected to report 10 to 12 cases of Microcephalic birth defects - always under 200 each year.  Starting in October, Brazil began to see a sharp rise in these births, and for the past four weeks the MOH has released increasingly grim epidemiological reports. 

Last week, the number jump another 500+ cases, to reach 1761 for the year.  Today, the latest tally jumps more than 600 cases, to 2401

While the current theory is that maternal infection with the Zika virus during the 1st and 2nd trimester is behind this sudden surge in birth defects, hard evidence is still lacking and a conclusive link may take months to establish.

Today's update notes a substantial geographic expansion of microcephalic cases, along with 27 suspicious deaths.  A few excepts from the latest epidemiological report follow:

This report from LAWS Microcefalias aims to document and disseminate up-to-date information on the epidemiological situation of microcephaly in Brazil, with focus on the investigation and response to the change in the pattern of occurrence of this disease in the country.
The distribution of cases reported to the Secretary of health surveillance, Ministry of health (SVS/MS) up to epidemiological week (IF) 49/2015 is in table 1, stratified by Federation Unit of residence. In line with the Protocol for surveillance and response to occurrence of microcephaly related to Zika virus infection "are presented the cases under investigation, confirmed and those diagnosed with thrown for surveillance.
Until 12 December 2015, was notified to the SVS/MS 2401 total suspect cases of microcephaly related to Zika virus infection, identified in 549 municipalities distributed over 20 units of the Federation. Of the total cases reported, 2165 are under investigation, 134 were confirmed and 102 had thrown for diagnostic monitoring. In 49/2015, six new States (Espirito Santo, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Pará, São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul) notified cases SUS

Note: Deaths included in the total cases.
Among the total cases, 27 were reported suspicious deaths, all in the Northeast. Two deaths previously notified by the State of Rio de Janeiro had thrown for diagnostic monitoring.

(Continue . . . )

In addition to instituting emergency mosquito control measures, yesterday the MOH announced a care protocol to try to deal with this rapidly intensifying crisis.

  • Published: Monday, December 14, 2015, 17h41
  • Last update: 14/12/15 17h41

Ministry launches Care Protocol to health for microcephaly

The Ministry of Health launched on Monday (14), the Protocol of Attention to Health and response to occurrence of microcephaly Related to infection Zika virus, which guides the care from pre-natal to the development of children with microcephaly, throughout Brazil.

The protocol defines guidelines for the care of women of childbearing age, pregnant and postpartum women, submitted to the Zika virus, and those born with microcephaly mobilizing managers, specialists and health professionals to promote early identification and specialized care of the mother and baby.

The document reinforces the role of health workers in the provision of contraceptive methods and the orientation of women of childbearing age and couples who wish to become pregnant, especially about the necessary precautions to avoid infection Zika virus during pregnancy.

The realization of prenatal care since the early first trimester of pregnancy, it is essential to identify risk factors, including infection by Zika virus. To continue monitoring during pregnancy, the community health workers will visit pregnant women, guiding to comply with the immunization schedule and attendance at consulted scheduled prenatal care. Also it is for health professionals to investigate and record the book of pregnant women, as well as in the medical records of women, the occurrence of red machas, fever and infection of these patients, guiding to seek health services in the event to present these signs and symptoms.

The plan also recommends that after birth, babies with suspected microcephaly undergo physical examination and measurement of head circumference. And if considered microcephalic, with lower perimeter of 32 centimeters, undergo neurological tests and imaging. It notes that breastfeeding should happen as a main power source of the newborn to 2 years of age, being exclusive to six months. There is no evidence Zika virus transmission through breast milk, as well as for urine, saliva and semen. As studies applied in French Polynesia, it was not identified virus replication in milk samples as well as the disease can not be classified as sexually transmitted. There is also no saliva for broadcast description.

The Protocol also sets guidelines for early stimulation of babies born with microcephaly. All children with this congenital malformation confirmed should be included in the Early Stimulation Programme, from birth to three years, during which the brain develops more rapidly. The service will be made in the rehabilitation of Specialized Centers (RECs), the Support Center for Family Health (NASF) and Ambulatory Newly Tracking with the objective of maximizing the potential of each child, encompassing physical growth and neurological, behavioral maturation, cognitive, social and emotional, which may be adversely affected by microcephaly.
Source: Health Blog