Zika Virus Infection in Pregnant Women in Rio de Janeiro

by Patrícia Brasil, José P. Pereira, M. Elisabeth Moreira et al.
N Engl J Med 2016; 375: 2321-34.

14 pp. 533 kB

New data from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, suggest that nearly half of women infected with Zika virus during pregnancy experience a serious complication, whether a miscarriage or significant birth defect, in their baby. The data are the first to quantify the risks to women infected at different times during pregnancy, and they seem to confirm that they are highest early in pregnancy. But the study also finds significant problems among women infected just a few weeks before giving birth. Microcephaly is the best known birth defect, but those dramatic cases represent only a small proportion of children damaged by the virus.

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