2 Years Later, Zika Children Continue to Suffer

It’s been two years since the Zika outbreak and now, two-year-olds born with microcephaly due to the infernal outbreak, are still suffering through long-term problems.

Children who developed health problems as a result of the Zika virus continue to have seizures and have an inability to respond to noises in their surroundings and follow objects properly with their eyes.

Brazilian children born with microcephaly are having follow-ups exams now that they have hit two years and they are missing all of the regular milestones of toddlers their age. According to a report released by Brazilian and U.S. health officials, Zika children will experience severe developmental delays and grow up needing life-long care.

Microcephaly is a rare neurological condition where a newborn’s head forms smaller than it should. The size is described as less than 2 standard deviations below the average. To learn more, click here.

The report came from a study that methodically monitored 19 babies that were born in 2015 and 2016 with microcephaly and true evidence of congenital Zika virus. All of these cases were born in northeastern Brazil.

At 19 and 24 months, all toddlers had an inability to sit independently, difficulties with sleeping and feeding, seizures, and hearing and vision problems. 75% had cerebral palsy. Ten of the subjects were male and nine were female.

This analysis and report was created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. These new findings will help determine the shape of things to come. There will be more updates coming out of Brazil in the coming years. Since September 2017, 3,000 newborns came into the world with microcephaly.

Lbert Ko, a Zika expert and professor of epidemiology and medicine at Yale University said to the Scientific American:

“These cases are likely to be the worst of the worst because 70 to 80 percent of these kids had severe microcephaly—meaning their heads were more than three standard deviations smaller than the average infant head. The big remaining question is: How about all the babies that didn’t have this severe presentation?”

The study was a case-controlled investigation with 19 children in areas of Brazil’s Paraíba State. One finding suggested that some of the toddlers might have contracted Zika after they were the born instead of in the womb because their blood was collected between one and seven months after birth.

These Zika children will continue to be monitored and hopefully their findings will help someday find a cure.

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