Studies add more evidence of Zika’s risk to pregnant women

WASHINGTON (AP) – Researchers say the Zika virus may be linked to a wider variety of “grave outcomes” for developing babies than previously reported and that threats can come at any stage of pregnancy.

Friday’s findings are preliminary results from the first study tracking pregnant women in Brazil from the time they were infected, and do not prove that Zika is responsible. Dr. Karin Nielsen of the University of California, Los Angeles says the study suggests Zika can act on multiple fronts.

The mosquito-borne virus is spreading in Latin America and the Caribbean. It normally causes only mild symptoms, if any, in adults. But it has been linked to babies in hard-hit Brazil being born with abnormally small heads.

Separate laboratory research strengthens that case by showing the virus targets fetal brain cells.

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