Washington — A stillbirth in Brazil is offering another clue to possible health effects of the Zika virus, this time beyond the developing brain.
In Brazil, Zika has been linked to babies born with unusually small heads, a birth defect called microcephaly that can signal underlying brain damage.
Thursday's report found a stillborn fetus with devastating loss of brain tissue but also another defect that by itself can be life-threatening: severe swelling and fluid build-up in other parts of the body.
Researchers found Zika virus in fetal tissue even though the mother reported no symptoms. The findings don't prove Zika caused the defects, but the researchers said closer investigation of stillbirths in Zika-affected areas may be warranted.
The report is in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.