Ongoing Challenges With Severe Congenital Zika Virus

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Most of the children had severe motor impairment, seizure disorders, hearing and vision abnormalities, feeding difficulties, and sleep difficulties.
Most of the children had severe motor impairment, seizure disorders, hearing and vision abnormalities, feeding difficulties, and sleep difficulties.

HealthDay News — Severe functional limitations are reported among children with microcephaly and laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection in infancy, according to research published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Ashley Satterfield-Nash, DrPH, from the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education in Tennessee, and colleagues characterized the subsequent health and development of children with microcephaly and laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection in early infancy. Data were included for 19 children who were assessed through clinical evaluations, caregiver interviews, and review of medical records.

The researchers found that most of these children had severe motor impairment, seizure disorders, hearing and vision abnormalities, feeding difficulties, and sleep difficulties at follow-up (age 19 to 24 months; median 22 months). All children had at least one of these outcomes, 12 had 3 to 5, and 2 had all 6 outcomes.

"This report provides information on the ongoing challenges facing children with severe congenital Zika virus syndrome; these children will require specialized care from clinicians and caregivers as they age," the authors wrote. "These findings allow for anticipation of medical and social service needs of affected children and their families."

Reference

Satterfield-Nash A, Kotzky K, Allen J, et al. Health and Development at Age 19–24 Months of 19 Children Who Were Born with Microcephaly and Laboratory Evidence of Congenital Zika Virus Infection During the 2015 Zika Virus Outbreak — Brazil, 2017. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:1347–1351.

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