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Zika Virus Really Causes Birth Defects In Unborn Infants, CDC Confirms

Update Date: Apr 14, 2016 04:37 AM EDT
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After a long study about Zika virus and its connection to microcephaly, it is now official that the virus is indeed causing the birth defect that affects the infant's brain, according to the health officials.

Although there are tons of evidence that pointing out the connection of Zika virus and microcephaly, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made official on Wednesday and quickly sent a publication to New England Journal of Medicine, NBC News reported.

"It is now clear ... that Zika does cause microcephaly," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden told reporters in a briefing. "We believe the microcephaly is likely to be part of a range of birth defects."

Zika virus has been spreading in Brazil since last year and the officials have noted a shocking increase in the number of microcephaly cases.

No mosquito-borne virus is known to cause birth defects. The virus that they once thought to be harmless is actually causing birth defects. Doctors did not even think that it can make most people sick until Brazil started raising the alarm.

After so many studies, they have discovered that Zika gets into the growing fetus' brain. It will then kill the brain cells which will stop it from developing, often, killing the fetus. It also showed that the process does not stop at the first trimester but at all stages of pregnancy.

"There is no longer any doubt that Zika causes microcephaly," Frieden said.

"Our previous recommendations regarding how to prevent and avoid Zika virus infection and transmission remain in place," the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said.

Since the outbreak started a year ago, CDC has advised pregnant women not to go the Zika-afflicted regions such as Central America, Caribbean, the Pacific Islands and South America, including Rio. It also advised pregnant women's partners to who have been to Zika-afflicted regions to avoid unprotected sex, or better yet, abstain from sex.

Mosquito experts in the U.S. are now worrying that the virus might spread in the southern U.S. as summer is coming and the temperature is rising. The Washington is preparing for the at-risk areas by reallocating the Ebola funds and use it in preventing the spread of Zika instead, Fox new said.

The CDC is not changing the guidelines right after the new findings were released and said that finding a casual effect next would be imperative.

"We are also launching further studies to determine whether children who have microcephaly born to mothers infected with the Zika virus is the tip of the iceberg of what we could see in damaging effects on the brain and other developmental problems," said Frieden.

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