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1 in 7 babies exposed to Zika in the womb have health problems, CDC reports

Some Zika-exposed babies developed problems after birth, including about 1 percent who showed signs of microcephaly even though they looked normal at birth.
A mosquito net covers a baby stroller where 2-month-old twins are sleeping during a visit for regular vaccinations at a primary health clinic in Loiza, Puerto Rico. Source: Angel Valentin/Getty Images

As the Zika outbreak that erupted in 2016 ebbed, health authorities warned that birth defects seen then might just be the tip of all the problems the virus caused when it infected fetuses.

Now, as children exposed to the virus during pregnancy start to get older, researchers have started to tease out how common these secondary neurodevelopmental problems may be — and how they can occur even if babies appeared fine at birth.

In published Tuesday, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control, difficulties swallowing, and cerebral-palsy-like movement issues. They also found that 6 percent had a Zika-related birth defect and 1 percent had both defects and neurodevelopmental problems.

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