The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged doctors to be aware of seizures and epilepsy in infants born to mothers infected with the Zika virus while pregnant, as cases of epilepsy caused by the virus can be misdiagnosed or underreported.
Studies have confirmed that pregnant women infected with Zika are at an increased risk of having a fetus or delivering a baby with a brain abnormality such as microcephaly, or other neurological disorders.
The CDC is hoping that by making doctors aware of epilepsy and seizure disorders in infants exposed to Zika in utero, reporting will be more accurate so that health officials can better identify and improve their understanding of the impact of the virus.
In 2016, there were 1,440 confirmed Zika infections in Florida, including 292 pregnant women. So far this year, there have been 37 Zika cases reported in the state, including 20 pregnant women.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is calling for new funding for the health department to cover the cost of hiring more researchers to conduct more research in the fight against the spread of Zika.
Zika is primarily transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, however the CDC has reported that the virus can spread through blood transfusions, from pregnant mothers to their newborn children, and through sexual contact with someone who is infected.
There is not treatment or cure for Zika. Most who become infected do not experience symptoms of infection, such as fever, joint pain, red eyes, and rash.
Source: Miami Hearld