Bioethics News

Zika and Birth Defects: What We Know and What We Don’t

March 23, 2016

(Nature) – But last October, northeastern Brazil reported an abrupt rise in the number of babies born with an abnormally small head, a condition known as microcephaly. The timing roughly coincided with outbreaks of Zika months earlier, and since then scientists have been scrambling to find out just how harmful the virus might be to fetuses. Researchers are piling up evidence at record speed. But much of the epidemiological data from Brazil is poor, largely because a problem was only suspected months after the virus had spread through large parts of the country, and the clinical data so far available are mostly preliminary. Here, Nature summarizes what is — and isn’t — known so far about the situation.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.