New research suggests that aside from smaller brains and joint problems, the Zika virus can also lead to hearing loss in babies.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released results of a study yesterday (August 30) where it examined 70 Brazilian infants between 0- and 10-months-old with microcephaly, a brain abnormality that leaves children with shrunken brains and developmental issues. Of the babies, five had damage to their inner ear, causing hearing loss. This led the CDC to surmise it needed further research to understand how the virus causes hearing loss. “All infants born to women with evidence of Zika virus infection during pregnancy should have their hearing tested, including infants who appear normal at birth,” the agency said in a press release.
This brings more concern for the Miami-Dade area, which saw three new, non-travel related cases of the virus yesterday, increasing the total number to 46. Furthermore, the CDC has nearly depleted funds allocated to fight Zika. ”Basically, we are out of money and we need Congress to act,” says CDC Director Thomas Frieden, according to NBC News.
The virus is continuing to spread, with Singapore the latest country affected. One-hundred-fifteen Zika infections have been confirmed there since August 27. The mosquito-spread illness continues to pervade Latin America, the state of Florida, which has the third highest Latinx population in the U.S., and U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.