Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Media: 1st Reported Microcephaly Case With Possible Zika Link In Cabo Verde


# 11,151

Last December the World Health Organization confirmed an outbreak of Zika Virus in the Cabo (Cape) Verde Islands off the Western coast of Africa, which began last October.  The CDC added Cabo Verde to their Zika travel destination alerts in January (see CDC Expands Zika Travel Advisory Country List).

Unlike the outbreak in the South Pacific and in the Americas, which involves the Asian strain of the virus, the Cape Verde outbreak has been reported as the (presumably milder) African Strain

Last week's WHO Zika Virus SitRep - March 10th had the following to say about the lack of neurological abnormalities reported in Cabo Verde so far:

From 1 October 2015 to 28 February 2016, Cabo Verde (African region), reported 7457 suspected cases of Zika virus disease although only two cases have been confirmed by RT-PCR. The outbreak peaked during the week of 22 November 2015 and has been in decline since then. The outbreak appears to have begun in Praia and then spread to other municipalities.
Preliminary information, subject to confirmation, indicates that this outbreak has been caused by an African strain of Zika virus. To date, 165 pregnant women with suspected Zika virus infection are being followed up. 44 (27%) of these women have delivered and there was no sign of microcephaly in any of the new-borns. No neurological abnormalities have been reported.

That optimistic assessment nothwithstanding, today Cabo Verde's national health director, Tomás Valdez, held a press conference to announce the first case of Microcephaly they suspect may  be linked to a Zika virus infection in that nation.

This link appears to have been based on clinical signs, and has not been lab confirmed.  And as microcephaly can be caused by other factors, one case is not necessarily proof of anything.  

But this case adds a new wrinkle to the global Zika investigation, and will undoubtedly get some serious scrutiny by both public health agencies and Zika researchers.   There is a link to an audio of the press conference on the news site (I was unable to make it work).

Cape Verde registers the first case of microcephaly with possible connection to zika

Cape Verde recorded the first case of microcephaly in newborn with probable relationship to zika virus. 
In a press conference, in Praia, the national health director, Tomás Valdez, said it is the first case of microcephaly with possible links to zika, since the mother will have had during pregnancy, symptoms of infection, despite not having shifted to health structures.

"This is the first probable complication of a situation of suspected zika virus resulting from a pregnancy of a mother who reported having manifested signs and symptoms compatible with an infection zika virus. During the course of the disease, did not you sought health services and during did prenatal reference to the clinical picture. the child born of this delivery was to the clinical conditions of microcephaly. the case was notified under the supervision established for pregnant women, " said the national director health, Tomás Valdez.

The national director of health ensured that the occurrence has been notified to the World Health Organization (WHO), under the International Health Regulations.

The zika epidemic in Cape Verde was officially declared on 22 October 2015 and until March 6, 2016 7,457 suspected cases were recorded. 
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