Most Zika-Affected Infants Experience Developmental Delays, Will Need Lifetime Care, CDC-Led Study Shows

New York Times: As Zika Babies Become Toddlers, Some Can’t See, Walk or Talk
“As the first babies born with brain damage from the Zika epidemic become two-year-olds, the most severely affected are falling further behind in their development and will require a lifetime of care, according to a study published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…” (Belluck, 12/14).

PBS NewsHour: Problems for some babies with Zika continue long after birth
“…The study, published [Thursday] by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Health Secretariat of Paraiba, and the Ministry of Health of Brazil, attempted to present a clearer picture of the long-term challenges that will affect children born with smaller-than-expected head sizes, or microcephaly, during the Zika outbreaks in Brazil and elsewhere…” (Rios, 12/14).

Science Speaks: Study of Zika impacts on infants shows needs for long-term planning, resources
“…The report … describes outcomes of 19 children who were recorded as having microcephaly at birth. Ranging from 19 months to two years of age at the time of the evaluations, with a median age of 22 months, findings among the children encompassed a wide array of disability and developmental delays…” (Barton, 12/14).

Scientific American: First Snapshot of Zika-Affected Toddlers Portends a Life of Struggle
“…Earlier analyses suggested such infants would have serious developmental delays, but the new report … is the first to provide a detailed account of what challenges these kids will face as they grow up — and to confirm children born with Zika-related microcephaly will probably need lifelong care…” (Maron, 12/14).

STAT: Zika-affected babies show severe health, developmental issues two years later
“…Fifteen of the 19 children had not met the developmental milestones — like being able to sit up by themselves — that a healthy six-month-old would meet, the authors reported…” (Branswell, 12/14).

TIME: Scientists are Only Just Learning the Terrifying Longterm Toll for Babies with Zika
“…Among the infants, 11 had a possible seizure disorder, 10 had trouble sleeping, nine had trouble eating, 15 had motor impairments that included the inability to sit on their own, 13 had hearing problems, and 11 had vision problems…” (Sifferlin, 12/14).

Xinhua News: Zika babies face serious health problems while growing up: study
“…CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald said in a statement that ‘continued monitoring of all children with congenital Zika exposure is critical to understand the full impact of the infection during pregnancy and to support these families for the long-term'” (12/15).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.