Reporting of #birth #defects from the #Zika #outbreak in #Colombia, 2015-2017 (Rev Panam Salud Publica, abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2019 May 3;43:e38. doi: 10.26633/RPSP.2019.38. eCollection 2019.

[Reporting of birth defects from the Zika outbreak in Colombia, 2015-2017]

Notificação de defeitos congênitos associados ao surto de vírus zika na Colômbia, 2015-2017].

[Article in Spanish]

Mendivelso Duarte FO1, Robayo García A2, Rodríguez Bedoya M3, Suárez Rángel G2.

Author information: 1 Centro de Medicina Basada en la Evidencia Keralty Centro de Medicina Basada en la Evidencia Keralty Bogotá Colombia Centro de Medicina Basada en la Evidencia Keralty, Bogotá, Colombia. 2 Programa de Entrenamiento en Epidemiología de Campo (FETP) del Instituto Nacional de Salud de Colombia Programa de Entrenamiento en Epidemiología de Campo (FETP) del Instituto Nacional de Salud de Colombia Colombia Colombia Programa de Entrenamiento en Epidemiología de Campo (FETP) del Instituto Nacional de Salud de Colombia, Colombia. 3 Fundación Universitaria Sanitas Fundación Universitaria Sanitas Bogotá Colombia Fundación Universitaria Sanitas, Bogotá, Colombia.


Abstract in English, Portuguese


The Zika outbreak affected several tropical countries in 2015 and 2016, requiring the creation of intensified surveillance strategies for microcephaly and other neurological syndromes. The effect of the Zika outbreak on the reporting of birth defects in Colombia was evaluated from the perspective of the national surveillance system.


National reporting of newborns with different birth defects was analyzed; variations in reporting attributed to the epidemic were determined through difference in differences (DID), a semiparametric model.


During the period of study, 18,234 cases of birth defects were reported in Colombia. The majority were congenital malformations (91.9%), and 82.3% was confirmed by clinical diagnosis or epidemiological link. In the case of microcephaly, eight new cases per epidemiological week were reported (coefficient of case reporting [D] = 8.8; P = 0.000) and 32 cases from other congenital anatomical malformations (D = 32.0; P = 0.000). The absolute value of the difference in differences estimator attributed to the Zika outbreak increased weekly case reporting of microcephaly (DID = |-5.0|; P = 0.008) and congenital malformations (DID = |-12.0|; P = 0.111).


The Zika outbreak increased reporting of newborns with microcephaly, but caused no significant variation in reporting of other malformations and functional birth defects of sensory or metabolic origin in the surveillance system.

KEYWORDS: Colombia; Zika virus; congenital abnormalities; health surveillance; public health

PMID: 31093262 PMCID: PMC6499088 DOI: 10.26633/RPSP.2019.38

Keywords: Zika Virus; Zika Congenital Syndrome; Microcephaly; Colombia.



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I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum ( in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.

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