Babies who get Zika after birth show fewer effects

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In a bit of positive news, a new study by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) shows fewer dangerous effects for babies and children who contract Zika after they are born. As documented by the CDC, 158 babies, children, and teenagers contracted the disease between January 2015 and July 2016. Of the 158, only two of the children were hospitalized, none developed Guillain-Barré syndrome, and none died. This is not to say that the others had no symptoms but they were not as dangerous: Overall, 129 (82 percent) children had rash, 87 (55 percent) had fever, 45 (29 percent) had conjunctivitis, and 44 (28 percent) had arthralgia. All of these cases were the result of travel to tropical areas including Puerto Rico,  the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Jamaica.

This is not to say that the others had no symptoms but they were not as dangerous: Overall, 129 (82 percent) children had rash, 87 (55 percent) had fever, 45 (29 percent) had conjunctivitis, and 44 (28 percent) had arthralgia.

This is similar to effects of the disease in adults, where most infections are asymptomatic or cause mild illness characterized by signs and symptoms that can include acute fever, maculopapular rash, arthralgia, or nonpurulent conjunctivitis. Zika virus infection during pregnancy has been associated with miscarriage, and is a cause of microcephaly or other brain abnormalities.

The study included 10 children from 0-4 years old, including one baby at one month old.

While this is good news for babies who get Zika after birth, The CDC however still urges the public to be very aware of potentially dangerous cases of Zika in children. All suspected cases, especially among people having traveled to more highly affected areas should be reported to health care professionals according to the CDC statement.

Although Zika virus disease in children is typically mild, health care providers should be aware of the possibility of serious complications, such as neurologic manifestations, and should report all cases of Zika virus disease to their state or local health department.

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