Zika Birth Defects Surveillance

Mother changing diaper to toddler

The Zika Birth Defects Surveillance system identified and collected data on birth defects that might be related to Zika virus infection during pregnancy.

It complemented the work of the US Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry by monitoring infants with birth defects that might be associated with Zika virus infection, regardless of their laboratory tests. This system collected information on infants that the Registry might miss if the mother’s Zika virus infection during pregnancy was not detected.

Ultimately, this information can help identify the types and risk of birth defects that occur in infants who were exposed to Zika virus. The information will serve as a foundation to better understand the long-term effects of Zika virus on a community over time. An evidence-based understanding of these effects will help healthcare professionals recognize potential symptoms of Zika virus infection, and connect families to appropriate medical and social services they need as early as possible.

For more information, visit Resources for Families of Newborns Affected by Zika Virus.

The Zika Birth Defects Surveillance system monitored birth defects potentially related to Zika virus infection, including

  • Brain abnormalities
  • Microcephaly
  • Eye defects
  • Hearing loss
  • Other problems associated with damage to the brain that affects the
    • Nerves
    • Muscles
    • Bones (such as clubfoot or inflexible joints)