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By Bill Berkrot and Anthony Boadle NEW YORK/BRASILIA (Reuters) - Experts on microcephaly, the birth defect that has sparked alarm in the current Zika virus outbreak, say they are struck by the severity of a small number of cases they have reviewed from Brazil. Consultations among doctors in Brazil and the United States have increased in the last two weeks, and some of the leading authorities on the condition are finding patterns of unusual devastation in scans of the newborns' malformed brains. While it's not known how representative the scans are, the early observations of these doctors point to a tough road ahead for the babies, their families and their communities and heighten the concern surrounding Zika, which is suspected of causing microcephaly.
Swatting aside fears over the Zika virus, the glittering dancers of the Rio Carnival samba championship and their adoring fans were primed Sunday for their first all-night parade. After a fortnight of street parties, thousands of gallons of beer, and the day and night sound of drumming and singing throughout Brazil's most iconic city, the really serious Carnival fun was set to begin at 23:30 GMT. Kicking off after sunset and going all through the night to dawn on Monday, the 12 best samba ensembles, known as schools, were to strut their stuff in front of some 70,000 people in Rio's specially built stadium, the Sambadrome.