This confirms what researchers have suspected with mounting evidence about harms caused by the virus.
Federal health officials confirmed Wednesday that the Zika virus causes a rare birth defect and other severe fetal abnormalities, marking a turning point in an epidemic that has spread to nearly 40 countries and territories in the Americas and elsewhere.
Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a careful review of existing research and agreed that the evidence was conclusive, Director Thomas Frieden said. It is the first time a mosquito-borne virus has been linked to congenital brain defects.
"It is now clear, and CDC has concluded, that the virus causes microcephaly," Frieden said. CDC is launching more studies to determine whether children with that rare condition, which is characterized at birth by an abnormally small head, represent the "tip of the iceberg of what we could see in damaging effects on the brain and other developmental problems."
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald