CDC Telebriefing: New Vital Signs Report

About 1 in 7 babies had health problems possibly caused by Zika: New data underscore continued need for follow-up care of babies exposed to Zika before birth

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Contact: CDC Media Relations


According to the latest Vital Signs report, about 14 percent of babies (1 in 7) exposed to Zika virus before birth had one or more health problems possibly caused by Zika among 1,450 infants who were at least one year old and had any follow up reported. Some problems were not apparent at birth and were identified as the babies grew older. The health problems included Zika-associated birth defects such as small head size, brain damage, and eye damage, and nervous system problems, such as seizures and problems with vision and hearing.

The analysis is based on data from 4,800 pregnancies that occurred between 2016 and 2018 in U.S. territories with laboratory evidence of confirmed or possible Zika virus infection. The 1,450 babies analyzed from this group were 1 year old by February 2018 and had follow-up reported.

This issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report also includes updated CDC guidance for couples planning to become pregnant after possible exposure to Zika virus.


CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD

Peggy Honein, PhD, MPH, director of CDC’s Division of Congenital and Developmental Disorders

Lyle R. Petersen, MD, MPH, director of CDC’s Division of Vector Borne Infectious Diseases


Tuesday, August 7, at 12:00 p.m. ET


Media: 888-795-0855

Non-Media: 800-369-1605

INTERNATIONAL: 1-630-395-0331


Important Instructions
If you would like to ask a question during the call, press *1 on your touchtone phone. Press *2 to withdraw your question.

You may queue up at any time. You will hear a tone to indicate your question is pending.

A transcript of this media availability will be available following the briefing at CDC’s web site:


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Page last reviewed: August 7, 2018