On Feb 1, WHO issued an alert1 on the potential fetal consequences of the Zika virus outbreak after the Brazilian authorities reported an abnormal increase in the number of cases of neonates born with microcephaly.2 Although no causal link could be clearly established, circumstantial evidence was considered worrisome enough for several countries to discourage pregnant women from travelling to Central and South America.3

French Polynesia was affected by an epidemic of Zika between September, 2013, and March, 2014, with an estimated 28 000 patients affected, representing around 11·5% of the Polynesian population.4 In 2014, local clinicians were struck by an unusual rate of cerebral congenital anomalies.

Within this territory, approximately 4000 births are recorded each year. All cases of suspected fetal abnormality detected during routine prenatal ultrasound examinations are referred to Papeete Hospital. When the referral examination confirms the presence of fetal cerebral anomalies, neuroimaging examinations (ultrasonography or MRI) are transmitted to the reference centre of Trousseau Hospital in Paris for evaluation by experts in fetal neuroimagery.

Read the rest at The Lancet- Zika virus infection in French Polynesia