Brazil to monitor Zika babies for 3 years

SAO PAULO: Brazil's Health Ministry said Friday that babies whose mothers were infected by the Zika virus during pregnancy will be monitored until they are 3 years old to detect the presence of possible problems other than microcephaly.

The statement said that besides microcephaly, babies whose mothers were infected by the mosquito-borne virus will also be watched for vision and hearing loss and malformed arms and legs.

Microcephaly is a rare defect that causes babies to have smaller than normal heads and not properly developed brains. Experts have linked an outbreak of the defect to the Zika epidemic.

The ministry said that more than 2,100 cases of microcephaly have been confirmed in Brazil since October 2015.