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Two Babies Are Born Blind because of Zika in Greater São Paulo

01/11/2017 - 12h38

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GABRIEL ALVES
FROM SÃO PAULO

Brazilian scientists reported in a scientific article published last week two cases of blindness in babies born Greater São Paulo - one in Guarulhos and another in the capital - because of the zika virus.

The two mothers, who were 14 and 18 at the time of delivery, told the doctors that they had none of the symptoms related to zika, such as redness in the skin, irritated eyes, joint pain and fever.

Other infections that could have generated microcephaly and ocular malformations in the babies (such as toxoplasmosis and rubella) were ruled out.

To the ophthalmologist Rubens Belfort Jr., a professor at the Federal University of São Paulo, the new findings are consistent with the information previously found, especially in other regions of the country.

"It is already clear that the virus does not only affect the part of the retina and the optic nerve, but also other parts of the eye, leading to a change of the intraocular pressure, injuring the nerve and allowing the occurrence of glaucoma."

Divulgação
Malformed retina
Malformed retina

The researchers' reports are consistent with other findings related to the condition that became known as Zika Congenital Syndrome.

In addition to the ophthalmological findings, the children, examined in 2016, presented radiological findings such as increased brain cavities, fewer gyri and sulci in the brain ("flatter" organ), absence of the corpus callosum (structure connecting the two hemispheres of the brain) and calcifications.

Translated by MARINA DELLA VALLE

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