Delayed onset: Damage from Zika can appear up to a year after birth

| | August 16, 2018
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Two-month-old Lara is monitored in the microcephaly unit of a Paraiba hospital. Image credit: Daniel Ramalho/Globe and Mail
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Since Zika emerged as a threat to babies, it has been a mystery exactly how much of a danger the mosquito-borne virus poses to children.

But now, the largest study to follow kids who were exposed to the virus in the womb is providing more answers.

The study involved 1,450 babies who had been exposed to the virus, and who were 1-year-old by February 2018. Six percent were born with birth defects, and 14 percent developed problems that could be blamed on the virus by the time they turned 1, the study found.

“We’re beginning to see the full spectrum of the impact of Zika,” says Margaret Honein, director of the Division of Congenital and Developmental Disorders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Related article:  Trump Administration proposes DNA collection from immigrants crossing the border for database of asylum seekers

Zika triggered an international public health emergency in 2016 when a large outbreak in Brazil revealed that the virus could cause babies to be born with very small heads and severely damaged brains when pregnant women get infected. The condition is called microcephaly.

It slowly has become more apparent that Zika-exposed babies could develop a range of other problems as well, including seizures, damaged vision and developmental disorders.

[P]regnant women and couples trying to conceive should continue to protect themselves while living or visiting places where Zika is being transmitted. The virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes, but can also be spread sexually.

Read full, original post: Who Seem Fine At Birth May Have Zika-Related Problems Later, Study Finds

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