Zika-related birth defects climb in U.S. regions with local transmission of the virus

By on .

The second half of 2016 saw a significant climb in birth defects associated with Zika infections during pregnancy in areas of the United States and its territories where the virus had been transmitted locally, according to a report the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released today.

While most of the mothers and infants whose data was captured in the findings were not tested for Zika virus, and only a small percentage of the tally of infants with birth defects were accompanied by laboratory evidence of Zika infections, the increase in the numbers of babies born with conditions strongly linked to the virus occurred over the months after the vector-borne infection and its impacts were noted in the Western hemisphere. Among those infants whose birth defects were accompanied by laboratory tests that had confirmed Zika infection, the rate of birth defects associated with the virus, was 20 times higher than seen in birth defect registries before the arrival of the virus in this region.

The data, and continued surveillance, are critical, the authors of the report, which was included in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released today, to help communities to plan for the resources that will be needed by the affected children and families.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.