Baby Born in New Jersey with Zika-Related Microcephaly

by in Childbirth


In an interview with Fox News Latino, a 31-year-old Honduran woman spoke out about the birth and condition of her baby girl who has defects linked to the zika virus. The baby was born via c-section on Tuesday and has microcephaly, a birth defect with a very poor prognosis. The infant has a partially developed brain and head, as well as intestinal and visual problems.

Zika baby new jersey

The unnamed woman gave birth at Hackensack University Medical Center after eventually being diagnosed with zika virus in Honduras and traveling to New Jersey, where she has family, for further treatment.

Her initial symptoms were underestimated by Honduran doctors. When a fever and rash appeared in December she told her physician that she thought it was an episode of allergies. She also had a low-grade fever that lasted for only a few hours. The woman did not exhibit other typical zika symptoms, such as pain and redness in her eyes. An ultrasound early in the pregnancy was normal, and her doctor assured her everything “looked fine,” saying “I don’t think you will be affected.”

While that initial ultrasound appeared normal, surgeon Dr. Abdulla Al-Kahn, chairman of the New Jersey hospital’s departments of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science told the Associated Press that another ultrasound taken last week showed birth defects, including microcephaly.

The young mother suspects she contracted the virus through a mosquito bite.

Scientists are still trying to determine how risky a Zika infection is for pregnant women. Last week, CDC researchers estimated that the risk of microcephaly is in the range of 1 percent to 14 percent.

This week the World Health Organization stated that if the male partner in a couple planning pregnancy has symptoms of virus, the pair should wait 6 months before trying to get pregnant.

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About the Author

Vicki Clinebell is a former television advertising executive who spent 25+ years with an ABC television affiliate in sales and marketing. A journalism major in college at the University of Colorado/Boulder, she now writes for a variety of online and print publications and provides blog content for clients including retail businesses and artists. The diversity of subject matter appeals to her, whether she’s reporting on the latest trends in baby gear, highlighting stories about outdoor adventures, or explaining basic pet-care tips. Even better, she says, is the shorter work commute… just down the hall, and a dress code that’s changed from suits and heels to jeans and a sweatshirt.

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