Dr. Karin Nielsen publishes groundbreaking article on Zika virus

Nielsen, director of the Center for Brazilian Studies, and colleague Dr. Patricia Brasil published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that the Zika virus is responsible for many serious fetal abnormalities in addition to microcephaly.

Dr. Karin Nielsen publishes groundbreaking article on Zika virus

Dr. Karin Nielsen. (Photo: Peggy McInerny/ UCLA.)

UCLA International Institute, March 7, 2016 — Director of the UCLA Center for Brazilian Studies Dr. Karin Nielsen, Dr. Patricia Brasil and several colleagues published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine on March 4, 2016, showing that the Zika virus is responsible for many serious birth defects in addition to microcephaly. Based on a study of 88 pregnant women at one medical clinic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the study concludes that the virus can cause serious abnormalities in the fetuses of pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy. Some of the abnormalities discussed had not been previously reported in connection with the virus.

Nielsen, director of the UCLA Center for Brazilian Studies and professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, was senior study author. She was quoted extensively in the widespread media coverage of the article's publication — which went from data analysis to writing to submission to publication in record-breaking time.

Coverage of the study was published by, among others, The New York Times, The Washington PostUSA Today, NPR’s “Shots,” the Associated Press, Reuters, NBCNews.com, Live Science, STAT, The Toronto Star (Canada), and Examiner.com. The Reuters story ran March 4 in the Daily Mail (U.K.), Yahoo! News, and other outlets.