Fecundity and Fertility in the Presence of Zika



Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Grant Number

R03 HD092818-02

Principal Investigators

Marco Rangel | Duke University | Sanford School of Public Policy
Dhavan Shah | University of Wisconsin–Madison | School of Journalism and Mass Communication


Jenna Nobles | University of Wisconsin–Madison | Department of Sociology
Amar Hamoudi | Center for Demography and Ecology


The 2015–16 Zika virus outbreak has been linked to a number of serious health issues, including pregnancy termination, testicular atrophy, fetal neurological disorders, and Guillain-Barré syndrome. In response to the epidemic, health officials across the Americas encouraged couples to delay fertility for months or even years. CDE researchers Jenna Nobles and Amar Hamoudi, together with PI Marcos Rangel (Duke) and Dhavan Shah (School of Journalism and Mass Communication), are studying the effects of the epidemic on population fecundity and fertility with support from an R03 grant from NICHD. To do so, they have built an unusual data source that overlays hospital accounting records, media transcripts, and high-resolution ecological measures of virus transmission risk in Brazil. Beyond detailing the effects of the epidemic specifically, the research will provide insight about behavioral responses to the diffusion of knowledge about health risks.