Skip 
Navigation Link
Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Black Children Missing Out on Eczema TreatmentNew Framework Guides Tx Decisions for Atopic DermatitisHealth Tip: Recognizing SepsisAround the World, Too Little Relief for PainNearly 4 in 10 U.S. Adults Now ObeseFDA Panel Supports Gene Therapy for Kids With Rare Eye Disease30-Day Mortality Lower With Female SurgeonsDirect Primary Care May Fill Niche for Uninsured3 Factors That Could Raise Your Risk of Bloodstream InfectionStroke Risk Factors Are RisingTwo Ebola Vaccines Spur Lasting Immune ResponseHormone Therapy May Be OK for Women With MigrainesMigraine MattersMedial Temporal Lobe Surgery Linked to Prevalence of TinnitusHigher Levels of Fungus ID'd in Patients With Crohn'sWhere There's Type 1 Diabetes, Celiac Disease May FollowAntibiotic Use Not Linked to Islet, Celiac Disease AutoimmunitySome U.S. Olympians Got West Nile in Brazil, But Not ZikaPenicillin Misconceptions May Raise Post-Op Infection RiskHate UTIs? One Simple Step Can Cut the RiskIDSA: Retail Meat May Be a Transmission Source for UTIsLonger Anesthesia Duration Tied to More Surgical ComplicationsFirst Test to Detect Zika in Blood Donations ApprovedHealth Tip: Learn Symptoms of Childhood SinusitisLimiting 'Cold Time' Could Make More Organs Available for TransplantHealth Literacy Linked to Length of Stay After Abdominal SurgeryZika Vaccine Works in Early Human TrialHealth Tip: Understanding Loud Noise and Hearing LossAllergy Relief Do's and Don'tsPatient Factors Differ for Surgical, All-Cause ReadmissionComing Soon: A Faster Test for Antibiotics Against UTIs?Antibody Injections in Pregnancy Might Shield Fetus From ZikaHealth Tip: Giving BloodMore U.S. Measles Cases From No Vaccine vs. Imported DiseaseHigh Epsom Salt Intake Can Lead to Severe Liver InjuryTattoo Pigment Hypersensitivity Can Mimic LymphomaObesity Linked to 13 Types of CancerBlood Thinners Can Come With Dangerous Side EffectsMeasles Making a Comeback in the United StatesAfter Deepwater Oil Cleanup in Gulf, Ill Effects PersistState Laws Can Promote Hepatitis C Virus ScreeningHow Much Alcohol Is Really OK?Girls' Sports-Related Concussions May Last Twice As LongSingle Mutation Made Zika Virus More VirulentVi-Tetanus Toxoid Conjugate Vaccine Can Prevent TyphoidDialysis Patients Often End Up Back in the HospitalRespiratory Disease Death Rates Have SoaredGenetic Tweaks in Mosquitoes Might Curb Malaria TransmissionImmunochromatography Testing Differentiates Dengue, ZikaFDA Approves New Continuous Glucose Monitor for Diabetes
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

1 in 20 Pregnant Women Infected With Zika Have Babies With Birth Defects: CDC

HealthDay News
by By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Jun 9th 2017

new article illustration

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- One in 20 women in the U.S. territories who were infected with Zika during pregnancy had babies with serious birth defects, officials reported Thursday.

The exact percentage of infants born with these Zika-linked defects depended on when during pregnancy the woman was infected, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Among women infected in the first trimester, 8 percent had a baby with defects; 5 percent in second trimester, and 4 percent in third trimester.

The findings also showed that birth defects could occur even in women who had no symptoms of Zika infection, CDC officials stressed.

In fact, 5 percent of those with symptoms gave birth to an infant with a birth defect, while 7 percent of those who had no symptoms had a baby born with a birth defect, said CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat.

"Just because you don't have symptoms doesn't mean you're not infected," she noted during a media briefing. "There is no doubt that Zika virus infection during pregnancy diagnosed during any trimester can lead to severe birth defects.

"Although we are still learning about the full range of birth defects that can occur when a woman is infected with Zika during pregnancy, we know that it causes brain abnormality, vision problems and other devastating consequences of brain damage that might require lifelong specialized care," Schuchat added.

Some babies have seizures, while others have little or no control over their limbs and cannot reach out to touch things around them due to constricted joints, Schuchat said.

Others do not attain typical developmental milestones, like sitting up. Some have significant feeding difficulties and have trouble swallowing or breathing while eating, she added.

And there are babies who cry constantly and are often inconsolable, no matter what their caregiver does to soothe them, Schuchat said.

"The defects caused by Zika are not always obvious at birth," she noted. Some babies may be born with a normal head size, but may have underlying brain abnormalities, experience slow head growth and develop microcephaly after birth, she said.

"Just because the baby doesn't have microcephaly doesn't mean they won't have vision issues or hearing issues," added Dr. Jill Rabin, co-chief of ambulatory care in Women's Health Programs and PCAP Services at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, N.Y. "Problems may not show up until the child is 4 years old."

"That's why identification of and follow-up care of babies with possible Zika virus infection is crucial -- it ensures that babies get the proper care," Schuchat said.

The findings, published in the June 8 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, reviewed more than 2,500 cases of pregnant women in the U.S. territories with possible Zika virus infection. Among these women, more than 1,500 cases of Zika were confirmed.

More than 120 of these pregnancies resulted in infants with Zika-linked birth defects, Schuchat said.

This report is the first from the U.S. territories and includes the largest number of completed pregnancies with confirmed cases of Zika infection to date, the CDC said.

These data were compiled from American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Marshall Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands from Jan. 1, 2016, to April 25, 2017.

These findings are consistent with a recent report on cases of Zika among women living in U.S. states who had traveled to Zika-infested areas, the researchers said.

According to the latest report, 59 percent of these infants were tested for Zika at birth, 52 percent underwent head scans, and 79 percent had their hearing screened at birth, all in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Although Zika has been beaten back with mosquito control programs in many areas, the virus may not be totally eliminated. The CDC continues to warn women and their partners who are considering pregnancy not to travel to Zika-infested areas.

The CDC also urges women to talk to their doctor so that they know the risks and ways to prevent exposure to the mosquitoes that carry Zika.

More information

For more on Zika, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.