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Baby Duda sat in bed, a pink barrette in her hair. She was ready to go home after a month in the hospital — when she began gasping for breath. Nurses rushed to her side with emergency oxygen. Her sister, out in the hallway, pressed her face against the window, watching yet another medical setback punctuated by high-pitched wails.

Born last November with a head just 10 inches in circumference, Duda is one of Brazil’s Zika babies. She was one of the first children at Recife’s Oswaldo Cruz University Hospital to be diagnosed with Zika-related microcephaly — a birth defect that leaves newborns with small heads and malformed brains and frequently causes severe developmental problems. The hospital soon was identifying as many as 20 suspected microcephaly cases per day in children whose mothers had been infected with Zika during their pregnancies, as Recife became the epicenter of a devastating epidemic of the mosquito-borne virus.

Now, as the pace of new cases has slowed, Brazil is entering a new phase of the epidemic, in which families and doctors are discovering the long-term medical complications Duda and the 1,748 other infants like her nationwide will confront.

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