Serious Brain Damage Found In High Percentage Of Babies Born To Mothers Infected With Zika
Three new studies quantify the impact of Zika infection during pregnancy on the brain development of newborns. Defects are not limited to microcephaly — the virus is also linked to empty spaces in the brain, cataracts and hearing loss.
The New York Times:
Extensive Brain Defects Seen In Babies Of Mothers With Zika
Babies born to Zika-infected mothers are highly likely to have brain damage, even in the absence of obvious abnormalities like small heads, and the virus may go on replicating in their brains well after birth, according to three studies published Tuesday. Many types of brain damage were seen in the studies, including dead spots and empty spaces in the brain, cataracts and congenital deafness. There were, however, large differences among these studies in how likely it was that a child would be hurt by the infection. (McNeil and Belluck, 12/13)
4 In 10 Babies Born After Zika Infection May Have Brain Defects
The toll that Zika virus takes on pregnancies appears to be even higher than was previously estimated, with a newly updated study from Brazil suggesting that 42 percent of infants infected in the womb may have significant birth defects. When the authors factored in stillbirths and miscarriages suffered by women who had been infected with Zika, 46 percent of pregnancies were affected. Microcephaly — a condition in which babies are born with smaller than normal heads — was seen in only about 3 percent of babies in the study. (Branswell, 12/13)