Growth and Development of Children with Microcephaly Associated with Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome in Brazil

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Sep 13;15(9):1990. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091990.


The outbreak of Zika virus in Latin America in the period 2015⁻2016 has caused a sudden increase in the number of severe manifestations and reports of congenital changes in newborns in Brazil. This is the first study that evaluated and compared the growth and cognitive and motor development of children with microcephaly due to Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome (CZS) in relation to typical children. It was an observational, analytical, cross-sectional study with 8 children with CZS and 16 typical children, with a mean age of 20.5 months (±2.1), in a region of northeastern Brazil. Considering the mean, children with CZS presented extremely low performance in the motor domain and in the cognitive development domain, whereas typical children presented average performance in the cognitive and motor development domains. Children with CZS presented a mean growth rate (head circumference and weight) lower than typical children. Therefore, children with CZS are at risk for growth retardation and development compared to typical children.

Keywords: child development; global health; microcephaly; public health; public health surveillance; zika virus.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Female
  • Growth and Development*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Microcephaly* / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / etiology
  • Syndrome
  • Young Adult
  • Zika Virus Infection* / complications