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Experts present findings to detect Zika abnormalities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says experts from the Americas, including the Caribbean, have been discussing the crucial role of obstetric ultrasound in the screening and monitoring of abnormalities associated in pregnant women who have contracted the mosquito borne Zika virus.

Symptoms of Zika include fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. According to the experts, obstetric sonography is the primary tool recommended for screening and monitoring of fetal/neonatal brain abnormalities associated with the Zika virus.

Structural brain anomalies, such as microcephaly, intracranial calcifications,ventriculomegaly and malformation of cortical development, have been reported in many babies with congenital Zika virus infection.

The panelists focused on the spectrum of neuroimaging findings that may be seen in children with congenital Zika virus infection, the crucial role and use of ultrasonography in the screening and monitoring of abnormalities associated with the Zika virus, and the appropriateness of the use of other neuroimaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography.

In some cases, PAHO said other technologies, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), have been used in addition to obstetric sonography. PAHO said MRI provides more detailed information about the brain anatomy than ultrasonography and can clarify unclear ultrasonography findings and when more details about the fetal/neonatal brain anatomy are needed.

- Edited from CMC.