Here's What We Know Now About Zika and Birth Defects
Zika virus is spreading, and scientists are growing more concerned about its link to an epidemic of brain defects known as microcephaly.
As the Zika virus spreads, hitting 52 countries to date according to the World Health Organization’s Friday update, health authorities are increasingly worried about microcephaly. At the same time, new research is tightening the connection between the virus and this potentially devastating birth defect.
So far, only Brazil and French Polynesia have experienced sustained outbreaks of microcephaly, but that could potentially change quickly. Zika has reached the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe and and the Pacific, according to the WHO. (On Friday, researchers in Colombia reported they had found infants with microcephaly there too.) The WHO says that just two pregnancies exhibiting the defect have been confirmed in women who were infected while pregnant and traveling in the Zika zone: