Brazil Zika: New microcephaly link

Brazil Zika: New microcephaly link

Brazil Zika: New microcephaly link

Written by Staff Writer

16 Feb, 2016 | 11:37 am

More evidence linking the Zika virus to birth defects in babies has been found, scientists in Brazil say.

The team at the PUC-Parana University discovered the virus in the brains of two babies who only lived for 48 hours.

The mosquito-borne virus is thought to cause microcephaly in babies, who are born with damaged brains and abnormally small heads.

Brazil has about 460 confirmed cases of microcephaly, and is investigating about 3,850 suspected cases.

The virus has spread throughout Latin-America, but Brazil has been hardest hit.

The scientists have been following the pregnancies of 10 women in the north-eastern state of Paraiba – the second worst-hit by cases of microcephaly.

On Saturday Brazil said it was deploying more than 200,000 soldiers across the country to warn people about the risks of the virus.

President Dilma Rousseff has insisted the crisis would not “compromise” the Olympics Brazil is hosting in August.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global public health emergency over the possible connection between Zika and microcephaly.

While the link with Zika has not been confirmed, the WHO and other public health bodies have said it is strongly suspected.

The microcephaly cases have been centred in north-east Brazil, but the Zika outbreak has affected people in more than 20 countries in the Americas.

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