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      Functioning and Disability Profile of Children with Microcephaly Associated with Congenital Zika Virus Infection

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          Introduction: The increase in the number of cases of microcephaly in Brazil and its association with the Zika virus (ZIKV) is a global public health problem. The International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) model is a powerful tool and extremely relevant in managing disability. Objective: Describe the functioning profile of children with microcephaly associated with ZIKV in two states of northeastern Brazil. Methods: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study. The sociodemographic characteristics, head circumference, and other clinical data were collected from medical charts, physical examinations, measuring instruments, and interviews with the children and their parents. The Brazilian Portuguese version of the Brief Common ICF Core Set for cerebral palsy (CP) was used. Each ICF category was assigned a qualifier, which ranged from 0 to 4 (no problem, mild problem, moderate problem, severe problem, complete problem). For environmental factors, 0 represents no barrier and 4 represents complete barrier; +0, no facilitator and +4, complete facilitator. Results: A total of 34 children with microcephaly caused by ZIKV were recruited (18 girls and 16 boys) at four rehabilitation facilities in Rio Grande do Norte and Paraíba states, Brazil. The average age of the participants was 21 months, monthly income was ≈USD 300.00, and head circumference z-scores ranged between 0.92 and −5.51. The functioning profile revealed complete disability in most of the body function categories (b). The activity and participation areas (d) were highly impacted, particularly in mobility-related categories. With respect to environmental factors (e), most of the sample reported a complete facilitator for the immediate family, friends, and health services, systems, and policies, as well as a complete barrier to societal attitudes. Conclusion: This is the first study that describes the functioning profile of children with microcephaly associated with ZIKV, using a tool based on the ICF in Brazil. Our findings reinforce the need to maximize health care and access to information, based on the ICF, for multiprofessional teams, administrators, family members, and children.

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          Description of 13 Infants Born During October 2015-January 2016 With Congenital Zika Virus Infection Without Microcephaly at Birth - Brazil.

          Congenital Zika virus infection can cause microcephaly and severe brain abnormalities (1). Congenital Zika syndrome comprises a spectrum of clinical features (2); however, as is the case with most newly recognized teratogens, the earliest documented clinical presentation is expected to be the most severe. Initial descriptions of the effects of in utero Zika virus infection centered prominently on the finding of congenital microcephaly (3). To assess the possibility of clinical presentations that do not include congenital microcephaly, a retrospective assessment of 13 infants from the Brazilian states of Pernambuco and Ceará with normal head size at birth and laboratory evidence of congenital Zika virus infection was conducted. All infants had brain abnormalities on neuroimaging consistent with congenital Zika syndrome, including decreased brain volume, ventriculomegaly, subcortical calcifications, and cortical malformations. The earliest evaluation occurred on the second day of life. Among all infants, head growth was documented to have decelerated as early as 5 months of age, and 11 infants had microcephaly. These findings provide evidence that among infants with prenatal exposure to Zika virus, the absence of microcephaly at birth does not exclude congenital Zika virus infection or the presence of Zika-related brain and other abnormalities. These findings support the recommendation for comprehensive medical and developmental follow-up of infants exposed to Zika virus prenatally. Early neuroimaging might identify brain abnormalities related to congenital Zika infection even among infants with a normal head circumference (4).
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            Early Growth and Neurologic Outcomes of Infants with Probable Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome

            We report the early growth and neurologic findings of 48 infants in Brazil diagnosed with probable congenital Zika virus syndrome and followed to age 1–8 months. Most of these infants had microcephaly (86.7%) and craniofacial disproportion (95.8%). The clinical pattern included poor head growth with increasingly negative z-scores, pyramidal/extrapyramidal symptoms, and epilepsy.
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              The Epidemic of Zika Virus-Related Microcephaly in Brazil: Detection, Control, Etiology, and Future Scenarios.

              We describe the epidemic of microcephaly in Brazil, its detection and attempts to control it, the suspected causal link with Zika virus infection during pregnancy, and possible scenarios for the future. In October 2015, in Pernambuco, Brazil, an increase in the number of newborns with microcephaly was reported. Mothers of the affected newborns reported rashes during pregnancy and no exposure to other potentially teratogenic agents. Women delivering in October would have been in the first trimester of pregnancy during the peak of a Zika epidemic in March. By the end of 2015, 4180 cases of suspected microcephaly had been reported. Zika spread to other American countries and, in February 2016, the World Health Organization declared the Zika epidemic a public health emergency of international concern. This unprecedented situation underscores the urgent need to establish the evidence of congenital infection risk by gestational week and accrue knowledge. There is an urgent call for a Zika vaccine, better diagnostic tests, effective treatment, and improved mosquito-control methods.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]Postgraduate Program in Collective Health, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte—Faculty of Health Sciences of Trairi (UFRN-FACISA), Santa Cruz 59200-000, Brazil; haryelle_naryma@ (H.N.C.F.); galante@ (K.G.S.); apsilvana@ (S.A.P.)
                [2 ]Division of Medical Sciences, University of Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada; vschiariti@
                [3 ]Postgraduate Program in Physical Therapy, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal 59078-970, Brazil; isabellyrodrigues_@
                [4 ]Undegraduate Program in Physical Therapy, UNIPÊ, João Pessoa 58053-000, Brazil; carla.novaes@
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: egmarlongo@ ; Tel.: +55-84-32912411
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                29 May 2018
                June 2018
                : 15
                : 6
                © 2018 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


                Public health

                icf, public health, zika virus infection, microcephaly, children


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