Zica Virus and Microcephaly – And Now, Trying to Get Pregnant or Not?

Fear that has taken hold of the tempting, but mainly pregnant women is the outbreak of microcephaly that has had national repercussions. The problem is real, but the amount of cross information and unnecessary alarms made by a sensationalist media that wants an audience at all costs. Information can very confuse women who are already pregnant and also those who are waiting for years to get pregnant. But what is the truth in the midst of so much information? What to take into account in the midst of so much speculation? But first let’s talk about microcephaly and understand what it is.

Microcephaly is the inadequate growth of the baby’s brain . The brain must grow and occupy the entire cranial box, if it does not develop correctly it will make the head smaller and in some cases with visible deformations. If there is a space between the brain and the skull, microcephaly is detected. Normally exams such as routine ultrasound, morphological and tomography in pregnancy, are able to discover the problem even before birth. This is because the doctor will be able to measure the circumference of the brain and skull still in the womb. However, there are rare cases where microcephaly is so low that it cannot be noticed. Only in the clinical examination, based on the measurement of the pediatrician , can a diagnosis be made.

The ideal size of a newborn child’s skull is over 33 cm . If it is below this measure, microcephaly is found. Children with this problem have fewer neurons than a child with a properly developed brain, therefore, they may have some motor development and learning problems, speech delay and still be dependent for their entire life due to possible mental retardation, epilepsy and neurological changes.

The concern even at the present moment is the outbreak that exists in Brazil, mainly in the north and northeast of the country, where the microcephaly has had a very considerable increase. Therefore, these places where the incidence of cases of zica virus was detected, were related to the incidence of microcephaly. However, it is important to emphasize that all the panic that is being caused is worrying. Some related studies do not prove that the zica virus causes microcephaly, which also causes other factors such as:

  • Rubella
  • Phenylacetonuria maternity
  • Toxoplasmosis

And other diseases common in low-income regions such as maternal malnutrition for example. One of the factors that cause microcephaly is also cytomegalovirus, more common than you might think. One of the causes of microcephaly is the use of high impact drugs such as cocaine and crack cocaine. Several other diseases can cause microcephaly, several syndromes like Down’s, Cri du chat, Cornelia de lange, Edwards and others.

But What is the Relationship of the Zica Virus to Microcephaly?

The problem lies in the relationship between the outbreak and the disease. Theoretically pregnant mothers in the first trimester, could be contaminated by the zica virus because they are bitten by the mosquito with the disease. Then the disease would fall into the bloodstream and pass to the fetus, which would attack brain cells due to inflammation. This inflammation slows down and prevents neurons from multiplying. This disease would affect the natural growth and development of the baby’s brain, because it would cause the developing baby’s own body to attack cells already forming. However, the problem is relevant only in women who contracted the disease in the first trimester of pregnancy, which is when the baby goes through this active brain development. Some children who were born with microcephaly underwent tests that did not detect a connection between the disease and the epidemic. Only 1 baby with microcephaly was detected with zica virus. Currently theOsvaldo Cruz Institute (FioCruz) released an opinion on the subject.

There is no link between the zica virus and microcephaly in proven cases, but we must consider any hypothesis.

Symptoms of the zica virus are:

  • Red blemishes on the skin
  • Joint pain
  • Low fever
  • Moderate pain behind the eyes

What Do Doctors Recommend to Those Who Are Pregnant and Who Wants to Get Pregnant?

As there are so many divergences of information and little knowledge about the disease, the safest thing is to wait a little longer to try to get pregnant . Especially in regions affected by the outbreak, since the disease has no vaccine available. It is advisable to wait at least for the outbreak to stabilize, which can last for about 6 to 8 months.

For women who are already pregnant, what remains is prevention. The zica virus is transmitted by the same mosquito that transmits dengue or aedes aegypti. It is also important to emphasize that fighting the problem is fundamental and the host of the disease is the female mosquitoes that fly low due to their weight. So, protect your whole body, especially your legs. The use of repellent has been one of the most considered options, however, it is important to say that not all are effective against the mosquito transmitter. The repellent for zica virus must have one of these components:

  • diethyltoluamide
  • hyperedine

However, there is still an aggravating factor, the doctor must release the use to prevent problems such as allergy of the pregnant woman. The repellent should be applied every 4 hours on the entire body even in unexposed areas. Talk to your doctor to use the repellent safely.

There are ways to prevent zica virus with natural repellents like citronella for example. Other items that can help are the lamps that attract flies and consequently the aedes aegypti mosquito It is worth investing in a flashlight kills flies, they are harmless to humans and effective against the host of the zica virus, their value can vary from R $ 80 to 300.00. Intake of vitamin B complex are great natural repellents , in addition to having this role in the body, it would play a natural shield against mosquitoes. However, its effectiveness would start after 1 month of ingestion.

Remembering: There is no 100% relationship between cases of zica and microcephaly. There are still doubts on the part of medical specialists and scholars on the subject. So, if you are not yet pregnant wait a little longer to have a concrete opinion. It is also necessary to remember that children who have already graduated (third trimester of pregnancy) are not at risk of having problems with microcephaly. Born babies are also not at risk of problems.

In doubt? Talk to your gynecologist. Finding out is the only weapon you have at this time of crisis and of course, help fight the mosquito transmitter.

See also: Strange Desires in Pregnancy May Be a Sign of Disorders

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My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.

Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

Dr. Alexis Hart

My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother. Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

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