The Zika virus became a major concern for many people in the areas most affected, but especially for pregnant women. Due to the concerns for the mothers and potential birth defects for their babies. An MRI series has explored in depth how Zika exposure affects the womb.
An MRI Study On Zika
A study was conducted using fetal MRI imaging on babies exposed to Zika during pregnancy. While the study did not include any infants with microcephaly, the study assisted in shedding more light on how pregnancies are affected by Zika. All babies included in the study appeared healthy and had mothers that were confirmed to be pregnant when they contracted the Zika virus.
The focus of this study was based on if babies appeared normal at birth if they have been completely protected from microcephaly.
"We don't know the long-term neurological consequences of having Zika if your brain looks normal. That is what's so scary, the uncertainty about long-term outcomes." -Sarah B. Mulkey, MD, PhD."
Of the 48 babies selected for the study, only three of fetuses had abnormal MRI results. Further studies are being done to find out if the complications found were Zika related. Researchers are hoping that the more research is done on Zika and its effect on the fetus, that vaccines can be developed.
The Effects of Zika On Mothers and Their Babies
The Zika virus can be passed directly from a mother to her fetus during pregnancy. The Zika virus can be contracted through infected mosquitos or through sexual intercourse with an infected person. An effective vaccine has not been discovered yet, but researchers hope that studies similar to this one will help with discovering an effect way to treat this virus.
We love how the technology of MRI’s can help researchers learn more about diseases such as Zika while allowing us to help diagnose the ailments of our patients at Clovis Open MRI. Be sure to know the risk factors for contracting Zika and about areas of concerns when traveling if you are pregnant.