Zika Virus Causes Birth Defects, CDC Health Officials Confirm

After months of debate about the connection between Zika virus and birth defects called microcephaly, Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday have confirmed the worst fears. There is irrefutable proof that the Zika Virus leads to brain damage in infants born to infected mothers.

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the C.D.C. director, said that there is absolutely no doubt that Zika Virus causes Microcephaly. Frieden added that never before in the history has a situation been seen when a single bite from a mosquito could lead to a devastating malformation.

Infectious disease experts have welcomed the announcement. Dr. Eric J. Rubin, an infectious disease specialist  at Harvard, feels that the CDC can concentrate on action instead of trying to confirm the link.

Dr. Anne Schucat, the deputy director of the C.D.C., said on Monday at a White House briefing said that more than 700 people have been infected by the Zika virus in the US and this included 69 expectant mothers.

Meanwhile, CDC officials have not confirmed that Zika virus causes neurological anomalies in adults including Guillain-Barre syndrome. Cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome have increased in countries where there is a Zika Virus outbreak.

The WHO, however, had announced last month that evidence is being collated to establish if there is a link between the Zika virus and Guillain-Barre syndrome. CDC officials say that they are waiting for the outcome of the studies being conducted in Brazil and elsewhere since the syndrome could be triggered by other infections also.

However, CDC has unequivocally said that Zika virus causes microcephaly. Zika virus has been indicted for causing the most severe forms of microcephaly. Microcephaly is a predominantly destructive type of fetal brain disruption sequence and is associated with problems about swallowing and bending joints.