Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is defined as a disorder that includes two core symptoms- obsessions and compulsions. According to the Census for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obsessions are defined by:
Thoughts, impulses, or images that occur over and over again. These thoughts, impulses or images are unwanted. They cause a lot of anxiety and stress.
The person who has these thoughts, impulses or images tries to ignore them or tries to make them go away.
Compulsions are defined as:
Repeated behaviors or thoughts over and over again or according to certain rules that must be followed exactly in order to make an obsession go away.
The person feels that the purpose of the behaviors or thoughts is to prevent or reduce distress or prevent some feared event or situation.
The following are facts and statistics on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
1.2% of U.S. adults had OCD in the past year.
OCD was higher for females (1.8%) than males (0.5%).
Among adults with OCD, approximately one half (50.6%) had serious impairment
34.8% of adults with OCD had moderate impairment
14.6% had mild impairment.
OCD affects 2.2 million adults
The average onset is 19 with 25% of cases occurring by age 14
One-third of affected adults first experience symptoms in childhood
17% of autistic people may specifically have OCD
Because of similar characteristics, it is often overlooked
It affects people of all races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds
OCD is one of the top 20 causes of illness-related disability worldwide for individuals between 15 and 44 years of age
1 in 40 adults are affected.
1 in 100 children are affected
Other conditions may co-exist with OCD including anxiety, bipolar, ADHD, autism spectrum, Tourette syndrome, and major depressive disorder.
Worldwide, OCD is approximately 2% of the general population
OCD ranks 10th place among all diseases
1 in every 200 children has the disorder 60 to 70% of OCD children improve significantly with therapy.
Media coverage surrounding the Zika virus outbreak and its link to microcephaly in newborns continue as the number of cases continue to grow including a recent article on the discovery of infected mosquitos found in the state of Florida.
What exactly are the facts?
Zika virus disease is a virus which is primarily transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes that were first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. The rates of human infections were reported across Africa and Asia from the 1960’s to the 1980’s. It wasn’t until 2015 however when Brazil reported a direct association between the Zika virus and microcephaly. Since then, the number of people infected has grown in alarming rates including the number of children born with microcephaly.
Typically, the Zika virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. These types of mosquitos are generally found in tropical environments. The virus can also be transmitted through sexual activity and can be detected in body fluids including blood, urine, amniotic fluids, semen, saliva and spinal cord fluids.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms may include a slight fever which may appear a few days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. Other signs may include conjunctivitis, and muscle and joint pain. The symptoms typically last between 2-7 days. There is currently no cure for the virus.
What is the relationship between the Zika virus and Microcephaly?
The Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) confirmed the Zika virus infection during pregnancy does cause microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects.
What is Microcephaly?
Microcephaly is defined as a medical condition where the brain does not grow properly resulting in a smaller than normal size head.
Often, microcephaly can be diagnosed during pregnancy using an ultrasound test. This is generally done late in the 2nd trimester or early in the third trimester. After a baby is born, a health practitioner will measure the distance around the baby’s head and compare the measurements to the general population standards. Severe microcephaly occurs when the baby’s brain has not developed during pregnancy.
Microcephaly is considered rare. In the United States, microcephaly occurs from 2 babies per 10,000 live births to 12 per 10,000 live births. An estimated 25,000 births per year. However, the rates in Brazil have jumped from 0.04 percent to 1.9 percent within the last year.
Besides the Zika virus, microcephaly may be caused by:
Exposure to drugs or alcohol in the womb
Decreased oxygen to the fetal brain
Gene deletion i.e. DiGeorge syndrome
Children born with microcephaly may not show any signs or symptoms initially, but may develop the following later:
There is currently no treatment for microcephaly. Early intervention is vital for the growth and development of the child.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – This site provides information on Zika travel notices and countries with the endemic including guidelines for traveler’s visiting family and friends in the affected area.
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. An estimated 30,000 children and adults are affected. This disease clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening infections. For more information, click on the links below: