Trending News Today: Zika May Also Infect Adult Brain Cells

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Despite popular opinion that the Zika virus infects fetal cells to cause severe birth defects, new research suggests that the virus could also infect adult brain cells, according to The Washington Post. It’s believed that most adult neurons are resistant to Zika, which could explain why adults appear to be less at risk from the virus. However, some neural progenitor cells, which primarily comprise the brain in a developing fetus, still remains in adults. Researchers were able to confirm their hypothesis that if Zika can infect neural progenitor cells, it may have the same ability to infect adult neural progenitor cells. Authors noted that the findings are just the first steps in discovering whether or not Zika can endanger human brain cells.

Another deal has been reached between Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc and its loan holders to amend debt terms, reported The Wall Street Journal. The amendment, which was announced Thursday, makes it easier for Valeant to meet a key debt-covenant requirement. Furthermore, it gives the drug manufacturer more flexibility to sell assets and borrow more money, as they work to shave off some of their $31 billion debt load.

Sleeping in your contact lenses and/or improper care can lead to corneal infections, an analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found. Each year, there are about 1 million clinic and ER visits due to corneal infection, and contact lens use is the top risk factor, reported NPR. A recent study examined 1075 reports of corneal infections related to contact lens use over a decade. Of these reports, almost 20% had a patient with injuries that resulted in decreased vision, corneal scarring, or required a corneal transplant. In the study, researchers found that sleeping in contact lenses was associated with infection in 7% of the reports. In fact, prior research has shown that overnight wear increases the risk of contact-related infections by more than 6-fold. Furthermore, not being diligent with cleaning the lenses, such as using tap water instead of disinfectant solution, or reusing solution from the day before, can lead to infections. Individuals should also be mindful that they should not shower or swim with their lenses in or hang on to their storage cases for too long.