Zika Raises Profile of More Common Birth-Defect Virus

July 5, 2016

(Nature) – A virus is killing hundreds of babies in the United States each year, and leaving thousands with debilitating birth defects, including abnormally small heads and brains. This is not the Zika virus. It is a common and much less exotic one: cytomegalovirus (CMV). Now, as the eyes of the media and health officials focus on the spread of Zika in the Americas and beyond, many researchers and advocates hope that funders and health agencies will at last pay more attention to a much greater global problem — the millions of babies born year in, year out, with often-serious birth defects.