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Prevalence and Clinical Attributes of Congenital Microcephaly — New York, 2013–2015
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  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    Congenital Zika virus infection can cause microcephaly and other severe fetal neurological anomalies (1). To inform microcephaly surveillance efforts and assess ascertainment sources, the New York State Department of Health and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene sought to determine the prevalence of microcephaly in New York during 2013-2015, before known importation of Zika virus infections. Suspected newborn microcephaly diagnoses were identified from 1) reports submitted by birth hospitals in response to a request and 2) queries of a hospital administrative discharge database for newborn microcephaly diagnoses. Anthropometric measurements, maternal demographics, and pregnancy characteristics were abstracted from newborn records from both sources. Diagnoses were classified using microcephaly case definitions developed by CDC and the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) (2). During 2013-2015, 284 newborns in New York met the case definition for severe congenital microcephaly (prevalence = 4.2 per 10,000 live births). Most newborns with severe congenital microcephaly were identified by both sources; 263 (93%) were identified through hospital requests and 256 (90%) were identified through administrative discharge data. The proportions of newborns with severe congenital microcephaly who were black (30%) or Hispanic (31%) were higher than the observed proportions of black (15%) or Hispanic (23%) infants among New York live births. Fifty-eight percent of newborns with severe congenital microcephaly were born to mothers with pregnancy complications or who had in utero or perinatal infections or teratogenic exposures, genetic disorders, or family histories of birth defects.
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