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Brainiac

Big Data: The impacts of Zika

Researchers found that monitoring children who may have been exposed is key to potential early intervention.
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1,450: That’s the number of children whose mothers were infected with Zika during pregnancy that researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention followed to help determine the virus’s impact on the human body.

Only 6 percent showed birth differences typically caused by Zika, such as microcephaly. But others also showed developmental problems that might stem from the virus. In all, one in seven children developed some type of health problem.

Researchers noted that they don’t have a baseline for the typical rate of neurodevelopmental differences in children that young, so the percentage affected by Zika may seem higher than it really is. But they concluded that “careful monitoring and evaluation of children . . . with evidence of Zika virus infection during pregnancy is essential for ensuring early detection of possible disabilities and early referral to intervention services.”

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