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New evidence linking Zika to microcephaly emerges, WHO says

Mothers posing with their babies who were born with microcephaly in Campina Grande, Brazil. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes)

While the link between the Zika virus and microcephaly in newborn babies is widely suspected, little scientific evidence has emerged to back up the connection. On Friday though, the WHO announced that a U.S.-Brazil study uncovered traces of the virus during autopsies on babies born with microcephaly. Full results of the study will be available by this spring. “Scientists are increasingly confident that Zika is causing microcephaly, but people may have different judgments about how much proof is enough,” CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat told reporters. Since early 2015, at least 4000 babies in Brazil have been born with the condition, and since then 39 countries have seen confirmed cases of the Zika virus transmitted. Experts believe that a Zika infection in the first trimester of a pregnancy could lead to the baby developing microcephaly, but many more months of clinical surveillance, research, and testing are needed to definitively establish the connection.

Read the full story at Newsweek.

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