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Mar. 3, 2017: World Birth Defects Day

CDC Around the World: News, Web, & SOcial Media Updates From the CDC Center for Global Health

Mar. 3, 2017

Spotlighted Topic of the Week: World Birth Defects Day



Every year, about 3% to 6% of infants worldwide are born with a serious birth defect. Birth defects can affect an infant regardless of birthplace, race or ethnicity. In some countries, birth defects are a leading cause of death for babies and young children. Those who survive and live with these conditions have an increased risk of lifelong disabilities… Read blog

Our Global Voices Blog


Zika: What we know and what we don’t know

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What causes birth defects

We know the cause for some birth defects, but for most, we don’t. That’s because we think most birth defects are caused by a complex mix of factors. There are some factors that can increase the chance of having a baby with a birth defect. Watch video

What causes birth defects


Eli’s Story

Jodie shares the story of her son Eli, who was born with spina bifida. Upon Eli’s birth, Jodie and her husband learned that he had further health problems, causing him to be on life support. Although Eli was only alive for a short time, he has given his family a lifetime of peace… Read story

Eli's Story

CDC Zika Updates

Latest Outbreak Info

On January 22, 2016, CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to respond to outbreaks of Zika occurring in the Americas and increased reports of birth defects and Guillain-Barré syndrome in areas affected by Zika. On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) because of clusters of microcephaly and other neurological disorders in some areas affected by Zika. On February 8, 2016, CDC elevated its EOC activation to a Level 1, the highest level.

CDC is working with international public health partners and with state and local health departments to

  • Alert healthcare providers and the public about Zika.
  • Post travel notices and other travel-related guidance.
  • Provide state health laboratories with diagnostic tests.
  • Detect and report cases, which will help prevent further spread.

Q & A on Zika

Areas with Zika

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  • Page last reviewed: March 3, 2017
  • Page last updated: March 3, 2017
  • Content source:

    Global Health
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