Rivista di formazione e di aggiornamento professionale del pediatra e del medico di base, realizzata in collaborazione con l'Associazione Culturale Pediatri
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Il virus Zyka è davvero la causa dell’epidemia di microcefalia congenita?
1Divisione Terapia Intensiva Neonatale, Ospedale Pediatrico “Bambino Gesù”, Roma
2UOC di Otorinolaringoiatria, Ospedale “Sant’Andrea”, Università “La Sapienza”, Roma
3Istituto Superiore di Protezione e Ricerca Ambientale, Roma
4Pediatria, Università “La Sapienza”, Roma; Medici per l’Ambiente - ISDE, Sezione Lazio
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Key words: Microcephaly, Zyka virus, Brazilian epidemics
Over a 12-month-period from July 2015 to June 2016, in Brazil thousands of cases of congenital microcephaly ap-peared simultaneously with the spread of an epidemic of Zyka virus infections. In the early 2016, this temporal co-incidence was basically assumed as the proof of a causal link between the two events, with the consequence that on 1st February 2016 the World Health Organization launched an international alarm (“Public Health Emer-gency of International Concern”). The presumed causal link between Zyka virus and microcephaly implies that the maximum number of malformed children should be ob-served seven-to-nine months after the maximum spread of the virus. On the contrary, the apex of the curve of Zyka virus infections (March 2016), instead of appearing 7-9 months before, took place in December 2015, four months after the peak of the epidemic of microcephaly. Moreover, although the virus spread throughout the whole country (and in more than 80 other countries of the planet) the large majority of microcephaly cases (more than 90%) took place only in the north-eastern part of Brazil. In conclusion, epidemiological data do not support the ex-istence of a causal link between Zyka virus and micro-cephaly in Brazil.
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