Sunday 17 April 2016

Brazil's microcephaly and CNS disturbance (M&CD) monitoring: Report No. 21, 2016-Week No. 14...

These graphs are made using data obtained from Week 14's Brazil Ministry of Health microcephaly and foetal and infant central nervous system (CNS) changes report, which you can also find here.

The chart above reports another quiet week in terms of the number of newly suspected microcephaly cases in Brazil up to 09-April-2016. The cumulative curve of suspected diagnoses of microcephaly and CNS disturbance (M&CD) continues to flatten, showing that slowing, but in different visual way.

In the graph above, we can see another big week (blue bars; right hand axis) for suspected M&CD diagnoses that have been discarded upon closer investigation. 

The rate of these (line with blue dots, left-hand axis) has been outpacing the rate of confirmed microcephaly diagnoses (red dots, left-hand axis) lately, perhaps suggesting that the whole process is flowing a little better? But the cumulative number of confirmed M&CD diagnoses (red dots) does keep climbing each week-let's be clear on that point.

The number of these M&CD diagnoses to be confirmed with a Zika virus infection continues its slow climb also. Allowing for an absence of sampling earlier on, I presume this curve is now not keeping pace with current microcephaly confirmations because there are also other causes of microcephaly in the region? Or testing is not occurring on all samples. Or something else.

The Table above is excerpted from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiological update to 14-Apr-2016.[2] 

It lists the number of confirmed microcephaly diagnoses occurring in relation to Zika virus infected women. But place the Brazil figure in the context of there being 189 laboratory confirmed diagnoses - and place that in the context of...many things that remain very unclear beyond vague statements of poor capacity, the ongoing faith in clinical syndromic diagnostic wonderfulness and the overwhelming impact of scientific consensus on all aspects of this event.


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