Kids born with Zika struggle to walk and see at age 2, study finds

A majority of children born with congenital Zika infection and microcephaly face severe health and developmental challenges at ages 19 to 24 months, according to the CDC's most recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The report stems from collaborative research efforts made by the CDC and the Ministry of Health of Brazil. While previous research has documented the effects of Zika in newborns, this is the first study to detail developmental challenges among toddlers with the condition.

For the report, researchers tracked the development of 19 Brazilian children with microcephaly and laboratory evidence of congenital Zika. Among the children, 11 displayed signs of a possible seizure disorder, 10 had sleep difficulties, nine had issues swallowing food, 13 had issues hearing, 11 had significant vision problems and 15 had severe motor impairments. Additionally, 14 children experienced at least three of these issues concurrently, and eight required hospitalization in the first two years of their life. The most common reasons for hospitalization were respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

"As children born affected by Zika virus grow up, they will need specialized care from many types of healthcare providers and caregivers," said Georgina Peacock, MD, director of CDC's division of human development and disability. "It's important that we use these findings to start planning now for their long-term care and stay vigilant in Zika prevention efforts in the United States and around the world."

More articles on infection control: 
CDC: Global annual flu deaths greater than previously estimated 
Rauner administration criticized for handling of Illinois Veterans Home Legionnaires' outbreaks: 5 things to know 
Dallas-area school district closes for 2 days amid flu outbreak

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