The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) describing 2016 Zika Birth Defects Surveillance data. This is the first report on the prevalence in the US states and territories of birth defects potentially related to Zika virus infection during pregnancy since the Zika virus outbreak in the Americas began.
In partnership with state and territorial health departments, CDC examined approximately one million birth records from 15 states and territories and found about three out of every 1,000 babies born had a birth defect potentially related to Zika. CDC also identified a significant 21 percent increase in the birth defects most strongly linked to Zika in areas with local transmission in the second half of 2016 when compared to the first half of the year. The results from this study emphasize the continued need to collaborate to monitor birth defects in the U.S. in order to best protect mothers and babies.