While doctors and scientists very strongly suspected that the Zika virus was the cause of the sudden epidemic of babies being born with microcephaly, CDC director Tom Frieden has confirmed that there is now “no longer any doubt” that this is the case.
Part of the evidence was the fact that scientists had found remnants of the Zika virus — which is mosquito-borne, but also been known to be transmitted by sex — in the brain tissue, spinal fluid and amniotic fluid of microcephaly babies. “We’ve been very careful over the last few months to say, ‘It’s linked to, it’s associated with.’ We’ve been careful to say it’s not the cause of,” said CDC’s Dr Sonja A Rasmussen. “I think our messages will now be more direct.”
The CDC had already been working under the assumption that the birth defects were caused by Zika, so while this will this will not change the current guidelines in place (warning pregnant women to refrain from traveling to Zika-stricken areas, for example), it might help them make a more forceful case for the general public.
Read the full story at The Guardian.