Via O Dia: Children of mothers with microcephaly make information campaign on Facebook. Excerpt from an edited Google translation:
After the significant increase in the number of children with microcephaly, which rose from 147 last year to 1,248 this year, a Facebook group of mothers decided to create the information campaign "I Love Someone with Microcephaly."
According to Lucélia Freitas, mother of Crystian, 13, who has microcephaly, "People began to talk as if it were contagious, in a derogatory manner, without knowing what it is and it hurts families who have someone special."
Lucélia said the idea of the campaign is to share information through social networks on this malformation, which can arise during pregnancy and also after birth. In addition, the organizers want to give support to families who are receiving the diagnosis.
The causes are varied, ranging from genetic to infections such as those caused by cytomegalovirus and toxoplasmosis, and the use of alcohol and drugs during pregnancy. Last Saturday, the Ministry of Health confirmed that the new diagnoses are related to infection of pregnant women by Zika virus, which began circulating in Brazil this year, an unprecedented relationship in the medical literature worldwide.
"Microcephaly, which is when the person has a small head, is a sign. We need to go after its causes," said neurologist Vanessa Van der Linden of the Baron de Lucena Hospital and president of the Association for Assistance to Disabled Children, both in Recife, in an interview.
The newborn should measure at least 33 cm in head circumference in the area just above the eyes. If this measure does not exceed 32 cm, medicine considers a case of microcephaly.
According to the expert, the new cases that have arisen in Pernambuco had similar signs to those caused by infectious agents, however, to be examined for toxoplasmosis and cytomegalovirus, the most common agents, the result was negative.
"The relationship with zika came when we realized that mothers cited rash (red spots) during pregnancy," reported the doctor who, realizing the increase in cases, notified the state government.
Vanessa said that children should be examined by experts, evaluating their sight, heart and hearing, to see what comes with these new cases.
"It's a new disease, we have to evaluate. For example, cytomegalovirus gives a lot of hearing impairment, whichsometimes appears at the end of the baby's first year. These cases are totally new in the world and the evaluation has to be continuous to see what comes along (from microcephaly)."