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Brazil’s Pre-Zika Microcephaly Cases



A review of four years’ worth of medical records finds far greater numbers of microcephaly cases from before the ongoing Zika virus epidemic than had been officially reported. - by Kerry Grens - February 10, 2016

In the past year, clinicians in Brazil have reported around 4,700 babies with suspected microcephaly, and reviews of 400 of the infants have confirmed the birth defect (another 700 suspected instances of microcephaly have been ruled out). The numbers are alarming to many clinicians in the South American nation. Some have questioned whether the cause of this increase in microcephaly is due to Zika virus—a hypothesis favored by many doctors and public health officials—other infections, or simply a catch-up in reporting.

To get a grasp on just how much the prevalence of microcephaly has changed recently, Sandra da Silva Mattos of the Círculo do Coração de Pernambuco and colleagues combed through the medical records of more than 16,000 babies. The infants were born between 2012 and 2015 at one of 21 medical centers in the state of Paraíba, which has been hard hit by Zika.


CLICK HERE - Nature - Zika virus: Brazil's surge in small-headed babies questioned by report

CLICK HERE - Microcephaly: normality parameters and its determinants in northeastern Brazil: a multicentre prospective cohort study

CLICK HERE - Microcephaly in northeastern Brazil: a review of 16 208 births between 2012 and 2015

CLICK HERE - The Lancet - Microcephaly in Brazil: how to interpret reported numbers?


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