“Need to follow up”

Colombia’s surprisingly low rates of birth defects from Zika are “somewhat reassuring”

(REUTERS/Alvin Baez)

Colombia has had a “very large” Zika outbreak over the past seven months that has infected some 65,000 people across the country, including 12,000 pregnant women, but has not caused a significant number of birth defects, according to BuzzFeed. About 90 percent of the 1,850 Colombian women who became infected with Zika during their third trimesters gave birth to children that did not have birth defects, according to the report. The low numbers of birth defects were praised as “somewhat reassuring news” by the author of a study on the outbreak in Colombia.

The number of birth defects from the outbreak in Brazil has been much higher, which has confirmed more than 1,551 cases of the signature birth defect of Zika, microcephaly. Colombia has reported only seven cases. Investigators are trying to determine why Brazil has higher rates and whether Zika infections in the third trimester results in other, subtler defects.

“We are seeing a very large outbreak in Colombia,” study author Margaret Honein of the U.S. CDC told BuzzFeed. “We really need to follow up on these children.”

Read the full story at BuzzFeed.

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