10,000 pregnant women to be enrolled in multinational Zika study

In a collaborative effort, the National Institutes of Health and the Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz, a scientific research organization tied to the Brazilian Ministry of Health, have launched a multinational scientific investigation to better understand the breadth of impact the Zika virus has on pregnant women and their developing fetuses and newborns.

The study has been initiated in Puerto Rico — where hundreds of infants could be born with Zika-related birth defects — and will expand to locations across Brazil, Colombia and other regions experiencing significant local transmission of the virus. The study aims to enroll approximately 10,000 pregnant women.

Birth defects linked to Zika infection include microcephaly and other fetal brain defects, abnormal eye development and nerve damage.

"The full scope of the effect of Zika virus in pregnancy has not yet been fully determined," said Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "This large prospective study promises to provide important new data that will help guide the medical and public health responses to the Zika virus epidemic."

More articles on the Zika virus: 
Hologic's diagnostic assay for Zika earns emergency use clearance from FDA  
FDA approves Zika vaccine for human trials  
Infographic: Where in the US have Zika cases been reported? [June 17 update] 

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