After several rounds of testing and mounds of evidence, scientists as the United States Centers for Disease Control and Preventional (CDC) have officially determined that the Zika virus is directly linked to microcephaly and other birth defects. The CDC’s Lyle Petersen and other colleagues published this conclusion in the New England Journal of Medicine on April 13th. Furthermore, the CDC says thousands of women could be infected by the end of the year in Puerto Rico and across the United States. (Story continues.)
“As is typically the case in epidemiology and medicine, no ‘smoking gun’ (a single definitive piece of evidence that confirms Zika virus as a cause of congenital defects) should have been anticipated,” the paper stated. “Sufficient evidence has accumulated to infer a causal relationship between prenatal Zika virus infection and microcephaly and other severe brain anomalies,” they added.
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“This study marks a turning point in the Zika outbreak,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said. “We are also launching further studies to determine whether children who have microcephaly born to mothers infected by the Zika virus is the tip of the iceberg of what we could see in damaging effects on the brain and other developmental problems.”
If you are pregnant, please avoid traveling to places like Brazil and Puerto Rico. If you need to travel there, please make sure you avoid being bitten my mosquitoes by using every precaution available. There is no ongoing transmission within the continental United States at this time, but caution should still be exercised. Please press the SHARE button at the top of this article and raise awareness for other mothers.