Results from a collaborative study indicate 26% of nonhuman primates that became infected with the Zika virus early in pregnancy experienced miscarriages or stillbirths, although the animals exhibited few signs of the infection.
Approximately five years ago, a single gene mutation altered Zika virus, making it able to target neuronal progenitor cells and cause what we now know as congenital Zika syndrome with microcephaly and ocular abnormalities.
Zika virus disease is a global issue, but with the recent hurricanes and flooding in Texas and Florida, mosquito-borne illnesses may become more prevalent. This article discusses the latest recommendations for the prevention of Zika viral disease, the populations and regions still at increased risk, and the latest and most promising research being conducted to develop a Zika virus vaccine and treatment.
A new study from Brazil shows a very high rate of fetal central nervous system abnormalities with both first-trimester and second-trimester exposure to the Zika virus, compared with data from the United States and other areas in the world where the rate of fetal abnormalities has been lower.