Life in the Zika epicenter: Mothers terrified children will be deformed. Babies who never stop crying. Families torn apart. How thousands of Brazil’s poorest have been hit by the virus

Friday, January 29, 2016
By Paul Martin

Zika causes flu-like symptoms in adults, but is believed to be affecting unborn children, causing microcephaly
The virus is believed to have entered Brazil during the World Cup last year, and has since spread via mosquitos
There are 4,000 suspected cases of microcephaly that may be connected to Zika, but link has not yet been proven
Officials now fear that the spread of Zika may deter visitors and athletes from travelling to the Olympics next year

29 January 2016

Around the fifth month of her pregnancy, Daniele Ferreira dos Santos fell ill with a high fever and angry red splotches on her skin. She soon recovered. But weeks later, when she went to the hospital for a prenatal exam, the news was horrific: The baby she was carrying likely had a severe brain injury.

When Juan Pedro Campos dos Santos came into the world in December, the circumference of his head was just ten inches, about 20 per cent smaller than normal.

Ms Santos was never diagnosed with Zika, but she blames the virus for her son’s defect and for the terrible toll it has taken on her life. Living in Recife in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, she is at the epicenter of the Zika outbreak, and Pedro’s is among 4,000 suspected cases of microcephaly that may be connected to the virus, though no link has yet been proven.

The Rest…HERE

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