Brazil to monitor Zika babies for three years

Brazil to monitor Zika babies for three years
In this Sept. 27, 2016 file photo, Angelica Pereira, left, watches as her 1-year-old daughter Luiza, disabled by the Zika virus, goes through a physical therapy session at the UPAE hospital in Caruaru, Pernambuco state, Brazil. The Brazilian Health Ministry said in a Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 statement, that babies whose mothers were infected by the Zika virus during pregnancy will be monitored until they are three-years old to detect the presence of malformations other than microcephaly, a rare defect that causes babies to have smaller than normal heads and not properly developed brains. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

Brazil's Health Ministry said Friday that babies whose mothers were infected by the Zika virus during pregnancy will be monitored until they are 3 years old to detect the presence of possible problems other than microcephaly.

The statement said that besides microcephaly, babies whose mothers were infected by the mosquito-borne virus will also be watched for vision and hearing loss and malformed arms and legs.

Microcephaly is a rare defect that causes babies to have smaller than normal heads and not properly developed brains. Experts have linked an outbreak of the defect to the Zika epidemic.

The ministry said that more than 2,100 cases of have been confirmed in Brazil since October 2015.


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