The Zika virus can cause brain damage to a fetus, despite normal ultrasound results early in pregnancy, according to a new study, NBC News reported.
There were no telltale signs of birth defects when researchers conducted an ultrasound of a Zika-infected pregnant mother at 13, 16 and 17 weeks. But later ultrasounds revealed other brain abnormalities.
“While this is a single case, it poses troubling questions that could inform future research,” said the study’s co-senior author, Dr. Adre du Plessis, director of the Fetal Medicine Institute and chief of the Fetal and Transitional Medicine Division at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C.
The study also revealed that Zika can cause invisible damage to a fetus that could show up later, and that it made its way into developing muscle, liver, lung and the spleen.