4. Zika virus now linked to severe joint deformities in babies!
The deadly zika virus, which has been linked to microcephaly – a birth defect where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected – has now been associated with rare, but severe, joint deformities in babies.
Researchers from Brazil’s Recife, the city at the centre of the Zika epidemic, believe there may also be a link between Zika infection and a severe joint condition after seven suspect cases were discovered. The seven babies with suspected Zika infection had been born with hip, knee, ankle, elbow, wrist and/or finger joint problems that fit with a medical condition called arthrogryposis. Lead researcher Vanessa van der Linden of the Barão de Lucena Hospital in Recife argues that ‘congenital Zika virus syndrome,’ a disease that describes birth defects caused by exposure to Zika virus in the womb, causes more than just microcephaly. She said it should be added to the list of potential causes of arthrogryposis.