The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday the Zika virus causes microcephaly and other birth defects. "This study marks a turning point in the Zika outbreak. It is now clear that the virus causes microcephaly," CDC director, Dr. Tom Frieden said. The CDC previously said it was likely the virus in pregnant women was the cause of the rare birth defect that results in an underdeveloped brain and that more evidence and research were needed to conclusively say it is causal. "We started using criteria about a month ago to see which ones had been met and which ones had not been met. We wanted to do this in a systematic and calculated way," said Dr. Sonja Rasmussen, lead author of the New England Journal of Medicine special report. There's was also no alternative explanation to account for the increase in these congenital defects among women who had the Zika virus during pregnancy. The CDC says they are not yet ready to conclude the virus causes Guillain-Barre syndrome.The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported more than 1,000 cases of microcephaly and other fetal malformations believed to be associated with the Zika virus from six countries.
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