Bioethics News

Zika virus and microcephaly. Causal relationship is confirmed by recent article

A medical problem with ethical repercussions is whether or not the Zika virus causes microcephaly, a subject that we have discussed previously (read HERE). Now, a recent article published in the New England Journal of Medicine (374; 2193-2195, 2016) has evaluated the medical evidence on the relationship of Zika and microcephaly, using proven scientific criteria. The authors concluded that there is a causal relationship between prenatal infection with the Zika virus and microcephaly and other major brain issues, which was further supported by the identification of the Zika virus in the brain of affected foetuses and children. Given this recognition of causality between Zika virus infection and microencephaly, efforts will have to be intensified to prevent the adverse consequences of infection with this virus, efforts that include both epidemiological and medical actions, as well as ethical ones.

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