Zika’s Toll on the Unborn

Babies born with brain damage and small skulls from microcephaly have become the global symbol of Zika—but researchers in Sao Paulo suspect miscarriage is a more likely outcome of the mosquito-borne disease.

Benedito Fonseca of School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto in Sao Paulo tracked 1,200 pregnancies to better understand Zika’s true impact.

Around 5% of Zika-positive mothers miscarried—compared to just 0.2% of Zika-negative mothers.

Researchers initially missed Zika’s link to miscarriages because the alarm was raised too late, by microcephaly cases that didn’t crop up until 9 months into the outbreak.

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