Zika Pandemic Extent Remains Unclear In Absence of Adequate Testing

As World Health Organization (WHO) declares an International Health Emergency as Zika engulfs the world, the exact diagnosis of the virus detected through blood test remains unknown. This is a major drawback that hinders gauging the extent of the outbreak and its alleged relation to increasing defects in newborns in Brazil. As symptoms found through lab tests have helped in tabbing Zika to some extent, over 1.5 million Brazilians are allegedly infected, with the virus.

Zika Spreading Fast

WHO fears that the virus could infect over 4 million in America and the Zika threat loomed in more than 30 countries where it has already spread. The Serology blood test efficiency needs to be achieved by doctors to determine how serious the Zika threat is.

Many laboratories across Brazil, U.S. and other parts of the world are working on developing an accurate serology test to examine the Zika virus impact on antibodies in the human body. But it is not something that can be achieved before a few months and researchers have their doubts.

Zika Linked to Birth Defects

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Colorado diagnostic lab head, Robert Lanciotti, confirmed his doubts about the development of an effective test in the near future. As health officials in Brazil believe that over 4,000 alleged microcephaly cases reported since October 2015 have been caused due to Zika but there is no evidence to support the link.

Pregnant women are considering abortions after being tested positive with Zika across Brazil and Latin America to avoid babies with defects even as pregnancy termination was unlawful in these areas.

Meanwhile, the export monitoring system of Brazil is posing as a hurdle for international scientists in collecting Zika sample. Health Ministry said that Zika samples that were collected with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention help would be delivered to U.S. after approval of the medical ethics review board.

As the world famous five-day Carnival begins today in Brazil, Zika scare is sure to dampen the festive mood as health officials are asking people to cover up to avoid being infected by the mosquito-borne virus.