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Neurological growth and development of children asymptomatic at birth whose mothers had Zika during pregnancy

  • Maia, Ana Maria Peixoto Cabral1, 2
  • Azevedo, Camila de Sousa Lins1, 2
  • de Oliveira, Rhaquel de Moraes Alves Bar...1
  • Barreto, Francisca Kalline Almeida1
  • Rodrigues, Adilina Soares Romeiro1
  • Simião, Adriana Rocha1, 3
  • Gomes, Ileana Pitombeira1
  • Ribeiro, Erlane Marques4, 5
  • Cavalcanti, Luciano Pamplona de Góes1, 5, 6
  • 1 Universidade Federal do Ceará, Programa de Pós-graduação em Saúde Coletiva, Fortaleza, CE, Brasil.
  • 2 Secretaria de Saúde do Município de Fortaleza, Fortaleza, CE, Brasil.
  • 3 Secretaria de Saúde do Estado do Ceará, Fortaleza, CE, Brasil.
  • 4 Hospital Infantil Albert Sabin, Fortaleza, CE, Brasil.
  • 5 Centro Universitário Christus, Faculdade de Medicina, Fortaleza, CE, Brasil.
  • 6 Universidade Federal do Ceará, Programa de Pós-graduação em Patologia, Fortaleza, CE, Brasil.
Published Article
Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical
Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical - SBMT
Publication Date
Feb 10, 2021
DOI: 10.1590/0037-8682-0180-2020
PMID: 33605376
PMCID: PMC7891566
PubMed Central


INTRODUCTION: Newborn who had Zika vírus but did not show microcephaly at birth may have neuropsychomotor development problems. We aimed to evaluate the developmental and anthropometric milestones of asymptomatic children whose mothers had Zika during pregnancy in Northeastern Brazil in 2015 and 2016. METHODS: We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional case series study of children in Fortaleza born without microcephaly whose mothers had Zika during pregnancy. Home visits were undertaken to evaluate the developmental milestones and gather anthropometric data of the children and to conduct semi-structured interviews with the mothers to identify their socioeconomic and gestational profiles and assess the newborns after birth. RESULTS: In total, 30 cases were identified. Of these, 17 children and their mothers participated in the study. The median age of the mothers at the time of delivery was 26 years. All were symptomatic, and TORCH was negative. At the time of the home visit, all had growth profiles suitable for their age. However, nearly all children (15/17, 88.2%) presented at least one developmental delay, considering their age group. CONCLUSIONS: There were late changes in the neuropsychomotor development of children born to mothers who had Zika during pregnancy, suggesting the need for specialized medical follow-ups.

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