RIO DE JANEIRO -- Scientists identified the Zika virus in the saliva and urine of two infected
patients, a top Brazilian biomedical research institution said on
Friday, prompting its president to urge pregnant women not to kiss
strangers just as local carnival celebrations begin.
discovery added to the rising concern over Zika, which is spreading
rapidly in the Americans and has been linked to thousands of severe
birth defects in Brazil.
said they used genetic testing to identify the virus in saliva and
urine samples from two patients who had symptoms caused by Zika
infection, and determined that the virus was active, meaning it had the
potential to cause infection, scientists at the public Oswaldo Cruz
They said more research was needed to determine whether Zika could be transmitted by either fluid.
marked the first time the mosquito-borne infection that has prompted a
global health scare has been detected in saliva and urine, the
scientists told reporters in Rio de Janeiro, host of the 2016 summer
Olympic Games in August.
vast majority of Zika infections have been caused by mosquito bites, but
word surfaced this week of infections caused by sexual transmission and
developments come just as Rio kicks off its annual carnival
celebrations, a raucous five-day bacchanalia known for street parties
and lots of alcohol and kissing. Some revelers even keep track of the
number of complete strangers they kiss.
Zika has been linked to the birth defect microcephaly, a condition in
which infants are born with abnormally small heads and can suffer
developmental problems, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation scientists
recommended that pregnant women take special precautions and avoid
crowds during carnival.
light of the possibility of being in contact with someone who is
infected, do not kiss, obviously," Dr. Paulo Gadelha, the foundation's
president, told reporters.
"We cannot say today that there is no possibility of transmission," Gadelha added.
as the foundation is informally known, said it made the discovery after
carrying out a partial genome sequencing of the virus found in the
samples from the two patients.
the social and economic impact of having a mega sporting event with
millions of attendees with a brutal infection in the country ...
especially at a time we are going through an economic crisis," said Dr.
Leonardo Vedolin, a neuroradiologist in Porto Alegre.
is no treatment or vaccine for Zika. Most infections cause either no
symptoms or symptoms including a mild fever, skin rash and
conjunctivitis that normally last for two to seven days, according to
the World Health Organization.
association with microcephaly and Guillain-BarrÃ© syndrome, a condition
in which the body's immune system attacks part of the nervous system,
has increased alarm over Zika. Researchers are working to confirm that
the virus causes those conditions.
government may decide to revise a law next week that restricts the
country's ability to send medical samples abroad, and does not clearly
define protocol when a public health emergency, like Zika, is involved.
government sources said the decision would be made at a meeting next
Wednesday between the health, science and technology ministries as well
as President Dilma Rousseff's chief of staff.
health ministry said it had been collaborating with the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention to try to nail down whether Zika
causes Guillain-BarrÃ©. Of medical samples collected in Salvador, in
northeast Brazil, one third will remain in Brazil and the rest will go
to the United States for research, the ministry said.
Source: MSN News
Provided by: InterAksyon,