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Enhanced Epilepsy Surveillance and Awareness Encouraged in the Age of Zika

Recent studies show that seizures and epilepsy are being reported in some infants with congenital Zika virus infection, according to a commentary co-authored by CDC in JAMA Neurology.

The effects Zika virus can have on a developing brain are similar to those of other congenital central nervous system infections associated with epilepsy. Seizure symptoms in infants and young children are difficult to recognize. This means that cases of Zika virus-associated epilepsy may be misdiagnosed or underreported. Caregivers’ and healthcare providers’ ability to recognize seizures and increase epilepsy monitoring and reporting is critical for early recognition and treatment. Better recognition, diagnosis, and reporting of seizures and epilepsy in infants and young children will help guide interventions to make sure families receive the right support and treatment.

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