Babies with Zika-related Health Problems Continue to Need Attention

From the CDC
August 7, 2018

About 1 in 7 babies now 1 year or older who were born to women with Zika virus infection during pregnancy had one or more health problems possibly caused by exposure to the virus before birth, according to the latest Vital Signs report. Some of these problems were not apparent at birth.

About 4,800 pregnancies from areas with Zika (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands) in the U.S. Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry (USZPIR) had a laboratory result showing possible or confirmed Zika virus infection between 2016 and 2018. From these pregnancies, 1,450 babies were at least 1 year old by February 1, 2018, and had any follow-up care reported to the USZPIR. Many of these babies did not receive all the recommended screenings for health problems potentially related to Zika virus. Careful monitoring and evaluation of these children is essential to ensure early detection of possible disabilities and referral to early intervention services.

“We know that Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious health problems in babies, such as birth defects and vision problems, including conditions not always evident at birth,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield, M.D. “We are still learning about the full range of long-term health problems these babies could face. We thank clinicians for their continued commitment to conduct all necessary tests and evaluations to ensure appropriate care.”

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