Thursday, February 11, 2016

Zika Virus and Microcephaly: More Evidence of a Causal Link

A case report in the New England Journal of Medicine was published yesterday that provides further evidence of a link between microcephaly, brain damage and congenital Zika virus infection.

A 25 year old healthy pregnant woman developed symptoms consistent with Zika virus infection while in Brazil. Microcephaly was discovered on fetal ultrasound around 29 weeks of gestation and her pregnancy was terminated around 32 weeks given the concern for severe brain damage. A fetal autopsy was performed and revealed severe brain damage and zika virus was identified in the fetal brain tissue with reverse transcriptase polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) testing. These findings are more evidence for the connection between congenital Zika virus infection and severe brain injury and microcephaly.

The full text of the article can be found here.

More basic science and epidemiologic research is needed to better understand the relationship between congenital Zika virus infection and abnormal fetal development and to best identify strategies to prevent disease.

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