Problems for some babies with Zika continue long after birth

From the PBS News Hour
December 14, 2017

Children born with congenital Zika infection and diagnosed with microcephaly face severe health and developmental challenges as they age, a new study has found, suggesting that complications from the virus affect babies long after birth.

The study, published today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Health Secretariat of Paraiba and the Ministry of Health of Brazil, attempted to present a clearer picture of the long-term challenges that will affect children born with smaller-than-expected head sizes, or microcephaly, during the Zika outbreaks in Brazil and elsewhere. Previous publications have described the health effects infants faced during the Zika outbreak, but today’s study was the first attempt to provide a more comprehensive view of the problems they experienced around age 2.

The investigation focused on Brazil, where thousands of children born during 2015 and 2016 were affected by the virus. It studied the health and development of 19 children with microcephaly and evidence of congenital Zika virus through clinical assessments, medical record reviews and caregiver interviews.