Nav: Home

What does Zika virus mean for the children of the Americas?

June 20, 2016

A special communication article published online by JAMA Pediatrics explores whether new paradigms in child health may emerge because of Zika virus.

Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D., of the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, suggests pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists will need to mobilize quickly "to get ahead of this fast-moving train. According to the World Health Organization, up to 4 million people could be infected with Zika virus by the end of 2016." The article suggests revisiting how the specialty of pediatrics responded to the HIV/AIDS crisis 30 years ago as a possible road map for addressing this new virus infection.

"We are just now waking up to a new normal as we learn more about the complete mental health effects of Zika virus infection. We will likely need to educate and train a new generation of primary care providers, including pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners. We will need to assemble interdisciplinary teams of pediatric specialists in neonatology, neurology, psychiatry, rehabilitation medicine and infectious diseases to organize diagnostic, clinical management, and treatment approaches and algorithms for this new illness. We will need new programs of child advocacy. Because Zika virus may equally affect North America, Central America and South America, we will need to expand how we work together across international boundaries. Zika virus will require us to dissolve any existing north-south divisions across pediatrics in the Americas. The next few years will be a challenging period as the number of congenital and pediatric Zika virus infections continues to increase from the current epidemic that first exploded in the western hemisphere in 2013," the article concludes.
-end-
(JAMA Pediatr. Published online June 20, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.1465. Available pre-embargo to the media at http://media.jamanetwork.com.)

Editor's Note: Please see article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, etc.

Media Advisory: To contact author Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D., call Dipali Pathak at 713-798-4710 or email pathak@bcm.edu.

To place an electronic embedded link to this study in your story Links will be live at the embargo time: http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?doi=10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.1465

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Zika Virus Articles:

Zika virus successfully diagnosed from semen
Research presented at ASM Microbe 2017 by experts at the Fertility and Cryogenics Lab shows a reliable clinical assay that can detect the Zika virus from semen samples.
New insights into how the Zika virus causes microcephaly
Scientists have uncovered why Zika virus may specifically target neural stem cells in the developing brain, potentially leading to microcephaly.
Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus could simultaneously transmit other viruses
A new study led by Colorado State University found that Aedes aegypti, the primary mosquito that carries Zika virus, might also transmit chikungunya and dengue viruses with one bite.
New Zika virus inhibitor identified
Compound could serve as basis for drugs to prevent neurological complications of Zika.
Researchers identify potential Zika virus target
New research provides insights into why infection with Zika virus after birth generally causes only mild symptoms, whereas devastating fetal malformations can develop when infection occurs during pregnancy.
More Zika Virus News and Zika Virus Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...