JOAO PESSOA, Brazil (AP) — A 16-member team of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is starting work on a "case-control" study aimed at determining whether the Zika virus really does cause babies to be born with the devastating birth defect microcephaly, as Brazilian researchers strongly suspect.
The study kicked off on Monday with a training session in Joao Pessoa, a city in Brazil's northeastern region that is the epicenter of the South American nation's Zika outbreak.
The CDC team is working with dozens of members of Brazil's Health Ministry, as well as Paraiba state's health secretariat.
The team members will fan out though Paraiba starting Tuesday to track down babies with microcephaly and their mothers. Blood samples will help determine whether the mothers had Zika.