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Prenatal blood screening may predict fetal defects caused by the Zika virus

Infants born with microcephaly, one of many serious medical problems caused the Zika virus. Photo:
Infants born with microcephaly, one of many serious medical problems caused the Zika virus. Photo: Joa Souza/Shutterstock

The sudden and rampant outbreak of Zika virus in 2016 terrified pregnant women, particularly those residing in Zika-endemic regions, such as Brazil, as well as those in the U.S. Their fear was justified given the link between Zika virus infection during pregnancy with having a small head, a condition known as microcephaly, and other congenital defects.

The absence of early prenatal diagnosis, or treatment, for birth defects has left thousands of mothers-to-be worrying about their baby’s well-being. Others, meanwhile, have terminated their pregnancy rather than risk having a child with birth defects.

Our research revolves around mosquito-borne...

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