The first babies born with brain damage from the Zika epidemic are becoming 2 and 3-year-olds now, and the severely affected ones are falling behind in their development. Some of them will, unfortunately, require serious lifetime care, but things can always get better. Looking at some of the side effects of the virus is pretty interesting.
Some of the oldest Zika babies in Brazil were born with abnormally small heads, a condition that is known as microcephaly. At around 22 months old these same children seemed to have the cognitive and physical development of babies that were younger than 6 months old. They couldn’t chew, they had no language, and they couldn’t even sit up on their own.
“A child might be making those raspberry sounds, but they are not making even the sort of consonant sounds like ‘mama, baba, dada,’” Dr. Gerogina Peacock said, according to NYTimes.
Nearly 3,000 Brazilian Zika babies were born with microcephaly, and it’s still uncertain how they will grow up, and if they will all suffer from side effects like the babies that were studied. However, some doctors say there could be hundreds of similar cases in the future.
“It’s heartbreaking, we would expect that these children are going to require enormous amounts of work and require enormous amounts of care,” one doctor said in an interview.
The Zika virus epidemic might be all but over, but the people affected by it are still suffering today.