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Study Finds Zika Virus in Fetal Brain, a Clue in Outbreak

         

abcnews.go.com - by Lauran Neergaard - February 10, 2016

CLICK HERE - NEJM - STUDY - Zika Virus Associated with Microcephaly

CLICK HERE - NEJM - EDITORIAL - Zika Virus and Microcephaly

New details about the possible effects of the Zika virus on the fetal brain emerged Wednesday as U.S. health officials say mosquito eradication here and abroad is key to protect pregnant women until they can develop a vaccine.

European researchers uncovered an extremely abnormal brain — not only a fraction of the proper size but lacking the usual crinkly neural folds — in a fetus whose mother suffered Zika symptoms at the end of the first trimester while she was living in Brazil. . . .

. . . Whether the mosquito-borne virus really causes microcephaly isn't yet proven, but Wednesday's report in The New England Journal of Medicine offers additional biologic clues.

"This fetus was really devastated," said Dr. Michael Greene of Massachusetts General Hospital who with colleagues from Harvard reviewed the findings in an accompanying editorial.

Second-trimester ultrasounds in Brazil didn't spot any problems but a third-trimester scan when the woman returned to Europe did.

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