Zika is officially linked to microcephaly, CDC says

Photo: CDC/
 Division of Vector-borne Diseases
It’s official: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Zika virus causes microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects.

CDC scientists reviewed the evidence that’s been collected so far on Zika and this week confirmed the link to microcephaly, a birth defect in which a baby is born with a small head and other possible developmental problems.

But wait, didn’t we know that already? Well, sort of. Since reports of microcephaly spiked in Brazil in 2015, scientists have strongly suspected the link to Zika. But there wasn’t enough science or review for U.S. health officials to say with 100 percent surety. And now they have.

“This study marks a turning point in the Zika outbreak,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden. “It is now clear that the virus causes microcephaly.”

CDC’s Zika guidance for pregnant women hasn’t changed: Pregnant women should avoid traveling to areas where Zika is being spread, among other recommendations.

To help share the facts on Zika, APHA’s Get Ready campaign has created an easy-to-understand Zika fact sheet. It’s been updated this week to share the new finding from CDC. You can download the fact sheet now to share in your community and with friends and family.

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