This represents between 2,000 and 4,000 babies per year in the state of Paraíba — about 1,000 times more than the team expected
Excerpts from a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on the Brazilian survey showing Zika is not the cause of microcephaly:
A four-year survey of more than 100,000 newborn babies in north-eastern Brazil has uncovered hitherto unrecognised patterns of microcephaly.
The discovery suggests microcephaly is not necessarily a new phenomenon, and questions whether Zika virus is even the cause.
The scramble in Brazil to discover the cause led paediatric cardiologist Dr Sandra Mattos to realise she was sitting on a database which could provide some answers.
Over four years, she and her colleagues surveyed more than 100,000 newborns for congenital heart disease in the Brazilian state of Paraiba.
But importantly, in just over 16,000 of these babies, the nurses also collected other information, such as length, weight, and head circumference — the indictor for microcephaly.
“We tried to establish the pattern of microcephaly over the last four years,” Dr Mattos said.
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