August 14, 2018
For children with suspected or confirmed exposure to Zika virus in utero, the CDC recommends screening for signs of congenital Zika syndrome and other birth defects by 1 month of age. The agency also recommends evaluating children for microcephaly until age 24 months and older. However, authors of a recent editorial published in Trends in Microbiology are now suggesting that because the effects of Zika virus infection may extend well into childhood, regular screening may be necessary through adolescence.
Approximately one in 10 U.S. pregnant women with confirmed Zika virus infection had a fetus or baby with birth defects in 2016, according to the CDC. The highest risk for birth defects occurred when mothers were infected in the first trimester.