Rotterdam hospital links zika to more birth defects

ROTTERDAM–A recent study led researchers at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to believe that, in addition to already known birth defects in babies, such as microcephaly, the Zika virus may also cause damage to bones and joints, RTL Nieuws reported.

The researchers studied the foetus and placenta of a woman who had a miscarriage at 11 weeks. They found the Zika virus in connective tissue around the cartilage of the 11-week foetus. This led them to conclude that the virus can also be active outside the brain and spinal cord, and it can start having effects very early in the pregnancy.
It is unclear whether the virus caused the miscarriage, but the researchers find it likely. “Other causes for miscarriage, such as genetic birth defects and infections, were excluded,” they said.
It was already known that unborn infants infected with the Zika virus have an increased risk of microcephaly, – a condition characterized by a small skull –, and the nerve disease Guillain Barre, which may cause severe muscle problems.
Two weeks ago the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM revealed that 60 people were diagnosed with the Zika virusin the Netherlands so far this year. A “small number” of them were pregnant at the time, it was added.

Source: Daily Herald
Rotterdam hospital links zika to more birth defects