Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues

Analysis Of French Polynesia Zika Outbreak Shows 1 In 100 Risk Of Microcephaly

News outlets report on a study published Tuesday in The Lancet showing the risk of microcephaly among infants born during a Zika outbreak in French Polynesia.

New York Times: Study of Zika Outbreak Estimates 1 in 100 Risk of Microcephaly
“During a recent outbreak of the Zika virus in French Polynesia, roughly one in 100 women infected in the first trimester of pregnancy developed a fetus with an abnormally small head and brain damage, researchers reported on Tuesday. The study is among the first to reliably estimate the rate of this birth defect, called microcephaly, in a population widely infected with Zika…” (Saint Louis, 3/15).

Reuters: Study strengthens Zika-microcephaly link, women and babies at risk
“…While more research is needed to understand the biological mechanisms by which Zika might cause microcephaly, the researchers said, these findings suggest the World Health Organization’s (WHO) advice that pregnant women should protect themselves from mosquitoes is a sound precaution. ‘Our analysis strongly supports the hypothesis that Zika virus infection during the first trimester of pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of microcephaly,’ said Simon Cauchemez, an infectious disease mathematical modeling expert at France’s Institute Pasteur who co-led the study…” (Kelland, 3/16).