According to the released data on Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control, 10% of pregnant American ladies that got infected by the Zika virus had fetuses or gave birth to children with birth defects.
The latest study covered the Columbia District and 50 states. Last year, US Zika Pregnancy Registry (Central Federal Database) registered a total of 1,297 cases of pregnant women with potential Zika infections throughout the 44 states which were supported by lab evidence. Out of the 1,000 completed pregnancies from this group of 1,297, 51 infants succumbed to various birth defects as a result of sexually transmitted pathogens and mosquitoes. The birth defects included abnormally small heads or issues with the nervous system and brain. Other cases included eye abnormalities, neural tube defects. 77 women lost their pregnancies as a result of the virus.
The birth defect on these pregnancies totals up to 5%, with it being much worse for the women who were lab-confirmed compared to the ones who had the potential of contracting the virus. In this category, out of the 250 pregnant women, 24 infants and fetuses had birth defects.
In an update, CDC said that the recent findings are more reason why pregnant ladies should do their best to avoid the Zika virus exposure. Given that the clinical spectrum of the virus hasn’t been established yet, mothers that give birth to infants with potential Zika infection authenticated by labs should make sure they go for Zika virus tests and postnatal neuroimaging. They should also ensure that physical examinations get done on the newborn together with a hearing screening. The report further states that identifications and follow-ups made to women with possible Zika infections (lab evidence) during their pregnancy and after they deliver infants with possible infections of the virus, ensures that adequate medical services are provided to them.
The 51 fetuses or babies that got the Zika-related birth defects were delivered by mothers who contracted the virus from the US territories with Mexico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico being where most cases were reported. A Texas baby last year in August was the first baby in the US to be a fatality of the Zika Virus.
The major points of concern in the latest CDC reports is the US increase in regards to the number of infants with Zika virus-related birth defects and also the increase of pregnant women with potential Zika infection supported by lab evidence. These findings are in line with the early findings of the agency which stated that pregnant ladies with the Zika virus were at a high risk of giving birth to children with birth defects.
The CDC also wrote that the proportion of infants and fetuses who get delivered with birth defects as a result of the Zika virus during the mother’s pregnancy period was 30 folds higher compared to that of pre-Zika prevalence years, and also an increased proportion of women with first-trimester Zika infection contracted the birth defects.