The increase in microcephaly cases continue, albeit at a lesser amount than recent weeks, according to new data from Brazilian health authorities Tuesday (computer translated). 3,530 cases are under investigation from 724 municipalities in 21 Brazilian states.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

In addition, 46 babies with microcephaly deaths possibly related to the Zika virus are under investigation, all in the Northeast.

The state of Pernambuco, the first to identify an increase of microcephaly, continues with the greatest number of suspected cases (1,236), representing 35% of total registered across the country. This is followed by the states of Paraíba (569), Bahia (450), Ceará (192), Rio Grande do Norte (181), Sergipe (155), Alagoas (149), Mato Grosso (129) and Rio de Janeiro ( 122).

Four cases from Rio Grande do Norte that were Zika positive are being investigated by the US CDC.

Two of these cases are miscarriages and two newborns at term (37-42 weeks gestation) who died in the first 24 hours of life. The samples were positive in the PCR test laboratory Zika virus. Furthermore, tissue samples of both newborns were positive in immunohistochemistry test, carried out by the CDC.

According to the clinical and epidemiological investigations carried out previously by the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), all four patients presented fever and rashes during pregnancy.

These results add to the other evidence obtained in 2015 and reinforce the hypothesis relationship between the Zika virus infection and the occurrence of microcephaly and other congenital malformations. However, the Ministry highlights the need for further investigation and research concerning microcephaly due to infectious processes.