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Zika virus found in aborted infant’s brain

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Zika virus has been found in the brain tissue of babies with microcephaly or the first time as scientists edge closer to establishing a link between the disease and the birth defect.

Doctors in Slovenia found the whole genome of the mosquito-borne virus amid the post-mortem of a prematurely ended 32-week foetus, which had suspected microcephaly.

The 25-year-old mother, who requested a termination after a prognosis of severe brain disease in her baby, had lived and volunteered in Natal, northeast Brazil, before becoming pregnant. “This case shows severe fetal brain injury associated with ZIKV infection with vertical transmission,” said the report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

It said there was no trace of Zika in any other organs, suggesting the virus had a tendency to infect and attack nerve cells.

Meanwhile, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have found evidence of Zika in brain and placenta tissues in four babies in Brazil. Samples were tested from two babies who died at less than a day old, and two miscarried foetuses. Similarly, the virus was also only found in brain tissue.

There are warnings that instances of Zika-related microcephaly were more severe than previously seen cases of impaired brain and skull growth. Among the complications that have been noticed by doctors are problems with vision and blindness.

The University of Sao Paulo said it was monitoring 3,000 pregnant women as part of research into a link between Zika and microcephaly.

Brazil’s health ministry confirmed its third Zika-related death while China reported its first case of Zika yesterday.

The Telegraph

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DPM Pokharel gets responsibility of Officiating PM

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KATHMANDU — Ahead of his visit to the People’s Republic of China, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has given the responsibility of the Officiating PM to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Ishwar Pokharel.

PM Oli, who is also the chairman of Nepal Communist Party (CPN), is leaving here for China today.

Similarly, Oli has appointed party’s senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal as the officiating chairman of CPN, according to CPN central committee member Bishnu Rijal. Currently, another chairman of CPN Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ is out of the country.

Likewise, deputy parliamentary party leader of CPN Subas Chandra Nembang has got the responsibility of officiating parliamentary party leader in the absence of parliamentary party leader and PM Oli.

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