Thursday, December 8, 2016

5 NYC Infants With Zika-Related Birth Defects

As of December 7th, there are now five babies born in New York City with Zika-related birth defects. In all cases, the infants are diagnosed with congenital Zika virus syndrome. Symptoms include microcephaly, brain and eye abnormalities, abnormal muscle and tendon development, and neurological impairment. Eight other infants tested positive for Zika, but show no signs of birth defects yet. They will be monitored for development of symptoms for the next year. 

So far, roughly eight thousand New York City residents have been tested for zika and 962 have tested positive. In this group, 325 women who tested positive are pregnant. All Zika infections in NYC were acquired from travel, except six cases that resulted from sexual relations with an infected person. In a statement, New York City health commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said "As we enter the holiday season, we urge all pregnant women in New York City, those who might become pregnant and their male sexual partners not to visit places where there is active Zika virus transmission."

Zika infection is only symptomatic in roughly 20% of cases. Symptoms are almost always mild, and include mild fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. Symptoms usually resolve after a week. 

-Anne Sommer

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