Infectious Diseases

Updated 04 February 2016

Surge of Brazilian babies born with small heads

Zika, a dengue-like virus has been linked to infants born with abnormally small heads in the Brazilian state of Ceara.

The Brazilian government says the dengue-like Zika virus is connected to a surge of cases of babies born with small heads, a condition known as microcephaly, in the country's northeast.

The Health Ministry said that scientists found the presence of the virus in the blood of a baby born with birth defects in the state of Ceara. According to Fox News the girl died, following a man that suffered from Lupus.

Read: Quick facts on rare disease

Researchers of the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention will arrive next week in response to a request by Brazil's government to study the link between the rare neurological condition and Zika.

Health officials believe pregnant women in their first trimester are more vulnerable. In 2015, the ministry has reported 739 cases of babies born with microcephaly in the hardest-hit states, while last year the same region only reported 45.

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Image: Virus cells from iStock