Is Zika Dangerous For Kids? It Probably Depends On The Age : Goats and Soda Studies have shown that Zika can damage a fetus's brain in the third trimester. Would there also be an impact on the brain of a newborn?

Is Zika Dangerous For Kids? It Probably Depends On The Age

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


The Zika virus may have fallen from the daily headlines. But the threat remains when you're traveling to some places. NPR's Michaeleen Doucleff has the latest information about keeping your family safe from Zika.

MICHAELEEN DOUCLEFF, BYLINE: The recommendations for pregnant women haven't changed. Pregnant women and those trying to get pregnant should not travel to places where Zika is circulating. Zika can cause birth defects, and it's too risky. But what about with kids or babies? Is it safe to travel with them?

NEIL SILVERMAN: So we don't have tons of data on that particular question, and it's a question we do get asked.

DOUCLEFF: That's Dr. Neil Silverman at the Center for Fetal Medicine in Los Angeles. He says the younger the child, the bigger the risk.

SILVERMAN: I would be a little concerned about taking a newborn under 6 months of age, for example, to one of these at-risk countries.

DOUCLEFF: Why? Because Zika can attack developing brain cells. Newborn babies have a lot of those. But kids older than age 2 don't. Their brains are more like adults.

SILVERMAN: Those kids probably don't have any significantly higher risks than an adult who's not pregnant.

DOUCLEFF: So traveling with kids above age 2 is unlikely to be a problem. Desiree LaBeaud, a pediatrician at Stanford University, agrees.

DESIREE LABEAUD: I have three beautiful children. And I bring them all over the world with me because I personally think the benefits of traveling with your kids and seeing the world is greater than the risk.

DOUCLEFF: But LaBeaud does protect her kids from all mosquito-borne diseases. That means using DEET on skin and permethrin on clothes. Michaeleen Doucleff, NPR News.


Copyright © 2017 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.