When the Zika virus epidemic erupted in Brazil last year, public health officials took swift action because the virus was linked to an alarming birth defect: microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with very small heads and possible neurological damage.
We know now that Zika virus infection, which is spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, is a cause of microcephaly and other serious developmental defects, and has been linked to other problems, including miscarriages and stillbirth.
While our attention is rightly focused on vaccine development, mosquito control, and other measures to prevent the spread of Zika, it is also important that we in the public health community identify optimal approaches to treat and care for the generation of children exposed to the virus in the womb.
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Originally posted: 06/22/16