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CARIBBEAN360 – The absence of microcephaly in several countries impacted by the Zika virus raises serious questions about the assumed connection between Zika and microcephaly, according to a new study.
Scientists have been warning about the potential effects of Zika infection during pregnancy, with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealing that Zika is linked to severe foetal brain defects such as microcephaly, as well as Guillain-Barre syndrome and other neurological complications.
A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine nevertheless showed that there were no microcephaly cases found among almost 12,000 pregnant Colombian women who tested positive for Zika virus infections.
This finding was in stark contrast to the large number of confirmed cases of microcephaly in Brazil, where over 1,500 cases have been documented.
At the same time, four cases of Zika and microcephaly were reported in Colombia for women who were symptomless for Zika infections and therefore not included in the study.
The Zika and microcephaly cases that were not part of the study indicate that there are many more pregnancies affected by Zika without symptoms.