Study Shows Zika Virus Mutation May Explain Spread, Birth Defects

Researchers believe genetic mutations in the virus may explain why it causes birth defects

Researchers hope genetic mutations they found in the Zika virus may explain why it seems to be causing birth defects, according to NBC News. 

The current virus strain comes from one that circulated in Asia, the team at University of California, Los Angeles, and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College said, proving earlier findings the strain isn’t the same as the one first seen in Africa. 

"By tracing its genetic mutations, we aimed to understand how the virus is transmitted from person to person and how it causes different types of disease," one of the researchers said. 

The researchers said they believe the mutations could help the virus replicate more easily and invade new tissues in the body and even the immune system.

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