26 Zika babies born with birth defects

Twenty-six children were reported born with one or more of birth defects potentially related to the Zika virus infection during pregnancy, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of September 22, 2016, 442 women with possible Zika virus infection in the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry (USZPR) had completed their pregnancies.

The 26 birth defects occurred among fetuses/infants of pregnant women who were exposed during their pregnancies to Zika virus in Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Republic of Marshall Islands, or Venezuela.

The 26 births included 18 infants born with microcephaly, representing a substantially higher rate than the normal prevalence of the defect in the United States, which ranges from 2 to 12 babies per 10,000 live births.

Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.

Microcephaly is a lifelong condition that can range from mild to severe, but for which there is no known cure or standard treatment.

CDC continues to recommend that pregnant women not travel to areas with Zika. If a pregnant woman travels to or lives in an area with active Zika virus transmission, she should talk with her healthcare provider and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and sexual transmission of Zika virus. For more information, please visit www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/.

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