Zika virus or dengue need not necessarily have a connection with fetal defects or birth defects in babies. A new study has found that the intensity of Zika symptoms or the load of the virus is not necessarily going to affect the baby or the fetus.
When the Zika viral fever caught South and Central America in its grip, a number of cases related to birth abnormalities were linked to the Zika virus but it may not be the case. According to Science Daily, a recent study led by researchers at UCLA have found that it is not necessary that the load of Zika virus or the level of Zika symptoms should have a link with pregnancy related problems or abnormalities in fetuses at birth. They also concluded the same with dengue fever.
Notably, congenital Zika virus syndrome has been known to affect infants born to mothers who had been infected with Zika virus during their pregnancy. It is a type of birth defect that was found in fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. The most common characteristic was smaller heads of the babies which was the result of microcephaly, a medical condition that does not allow the brain to develop fully.
The recent study destroys the notion of antibody-dependent enhancement. As is known, this notion suggested that dengue antibodies increase the virulence of Zika virus, thereby, making the fetus prone to defects. However, the new study disproves this theory.
There is no direct connection between the level of virus in the blood and the intensity of the symptoms in the pregnant mothers. The study that was conducted on 131 pregnant women could not establish a link between dengue antibodies and Zika virulence.
Nevertheless, the researchers have said that they need to conduct more studies to get more insights. It is worth mentioning here that in many infections, the degree of the virus is directly linked to the severity of symptoms; the higher the level, the more severe the symptoms.