A new beverage coaster created by NOFAS asks, “What is the most common cause of microcephaly?” Microcephaly, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is “a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.” Microcephaly can be an isolated condition, or it can occur in combination with other major birth defects. It can be caused by prenatal exposure to harmful substances (such as alcohol and tobacco), certain infections acquired by the mother during pregnancy (such as Zika or rubella), and severe malnutrition.
The coaster asks whether the mosquito (implied as responsible for the mosquito-borne illness Zika virus) or alcohol (implied as responsible for prenatal alcohol exposure) is the more common cause of microcephaly. The answer compares the total number of infants in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with birth defects as a result of Zika infection and the estimated number of newborns in the U.S. each year with birth defects associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. Although there is a general misconception that the mosquito-borne Zika infection is the more common cause of birth defects, there are many, many times more babies born with birth defects due to prenatal alcohol exposure.
The new coaster seeks to raise awareness of the risk of alcohol during pregnancy, and is available from NOFAS to be distributed in your area. Select a quantity from the drop-down menu, click Add to Cart (your shopping cart will open in a separate tab), and process your transaction using a credit card or your PayPal account.