Por: Alberto Silva

Hospital Has at Least 20 Suspected Cases of Microcephaly per Day

In a single day there are more suspected cases of microcephaly at the children's infectology department at Hospital Universitário Oswaldo Cruz, in Recife, the capital city of Pernambuco, than all cases registered in the entire state last year.

The state is at the top of the Brazilian ranking of microcephaly. It has 646 of the 1,248 suspected cases in the country. Some 90% of the cases of microcephaly are associated with mental retardation.

Brazil’s Ministry of Health says the disease is caused by the virus zika and it has the same origin as the more than 1.5 million suspected cases of dengue: the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

People look at each other in silence as mothers walk into the hospital with their babies in their arms. Cinthia da Silva, 28, laments the diagnosis of her son, Fabrício, who is 15 days old. “They said that he has microcephaly. I cried so much that they had to give me sterile saline solution.”

Silva arrived shortly after housewife Ednalda de Oliveira, 34, and her husband, electrician Kristhofferson Ribeiro de Lima, 24, left the hospital. Although they were scared, the couple said they were confident.

Lima said that their son, Davi, 11 days old, does not have microcephaly, although his wife had the symptoms during her pregnancy. Davi left the hospital, but Fabrício will stay.



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