Overall, of the completed pregnancies, 122 fetuses or infants (5%) had possible Zika-associated birth defects, with 108 having brain abnormalities and/or microcephaly. Among the 1508 pregnancies in women with NAT-confirmed Zika, a total of 5% resulted in fetuses or infants with possible related birth defects. Among pregnant women with NAT-confirmed infections, possible Zika-associated birth defects were reported in 8%, 5%, and 4% of infants or fetuses with symptoms or lab results reported during the first, second, and third trimesters, respectively.
“This report adds information about the number of possible Zika-associated birth defects with laboratory evidence of recent possible or NAT-confirmed Zika virus infection during pregnancy among women,” stated the authors in their concluding remarks. They continued, “It also provides new estimates for the proportion of infants with a birth defect after identification of maternal Zika virus infection in the first, second, and third trimesters of pregnancy, and provides evidence that birth defects might occur following documentation of symptom onset or positive laboratory testing during any trimester. Moreover, based on data reported to the pregnancy and infant registries, this report highlights potential gaps in testing and screening of infants with possible congenital Zika virus infection in US territories at birth. Identification and follow-up of infants born to mothers with laboratory evidence of recent possible Zika virus infection during pregnancy can facilitate timely and appropriate clinical intervention services and assessment of future needs.”
Brian P. Dunleavy is a medical writer and editor based in New York. His work has appeared in numerous healthcare-related publications. He is the former editor of Infectious Disease Special Edition.
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