Severe Defects in Brazilian Babies Unusual

Severe Defects in Brazilian Babies Unusual

Experts on microcephaly, the birth defect that has sparked alarm in the current Zika virus outbreak, say they are struck by the severity of a small number of cases they have reviewed from Brazil. Consultations among doctors in Brazil and the US have increased with some leading authorities on the condition finding patterns of unusual devastation in scans of the newborns’ malformed brains.
Early observations point to a tough road ahead for the babies, their families and their communities and heighten the concern surrounding Zika, which is suspected of causing microcephaly, reports Reuters. “We are in the process of rapid information gathering on what has been seen,” said Dr. William Dobyns, a geneticist at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “The condition that I’ve reviewed is more severe than simple microcephaly.” The virus is transmitted by mosquito, causing mild symptoms in about 20% of cases. Most people experience no illness at all. But a spike in microcephaly cases among babies in areas of Brazil with Zika outbreaks has triggered an international effort to determine whether the virus causes the condition.

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