Mother-to-child transmission of Zika may be possible through breastfeeding

Researchers said they found evidence in Venezuela that mother-to-child transmission of Zika virus through breast-feeding is possible.

Writing in Clinical Infectious Diseases, the researchers said the results of genetic testing of Zika virus isolates from a mother’s breast milk and her child’s urine “strongly suggest” transmission through breast-feeding.

Over the past 2 years, research spurred by an epidemic centered in Brazil has revealed that Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a pattern of serious fetal and infant birth defects, including microcephaly. According to a recent report, children affected by Zika virus may face challenges even beyond infancy, including seizure disorders and hearing or visual impairment. As of Dec. 21, nearly 600,000 cases of suspected Zika virus infection have been reported in the Americas since 2015, according to WHO.

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