A baby girl born in New Jersey on Tuesday is suffering from microcephaly, a birth defect in which a baby’s head and brain are abnormally small, caused by the mosquito-borne Zika virus. The mother is visiting from Honduras, where she was likely infected with the Zika virus, and has asked not to be identified. She traveled to New Jersey because she has family there and wanted to seek what she thought would be better treatment than what’s available in her home country.
The woman, reportedly 31 years old, was admitted to Hackensack University Medical Center on Friday. After performing an ultrasound on her, doctors determined the baby had “significant microcephaly,” according to Abdulla Al-Khan, director of maternal and fetal medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center. “I was pretty much convinced this was a Zika-affected baby,” right away, Al-Khan said. They also discovered the baby was suffering from calcification and dilated ventricles in the brain and the mother’s amniotic fluid was low, necessitating a C-section delivery on Tuesday. The mother was nearly full-term, Al-Khan said.
“The mother is stable, obviously sad, which is the normal emotional reaction given the situation,” Abdulla Al-Khan said. This is the second-known case of a Zika-affected baby being born in the U.S. — the first such case occurred in Hawaii in January.
Doctors think the mother acquired Zika at some point during her second trimester and they coordinated her treatment with obstetricians in Honduras after she began showing the telltale symptoms of Zika. She was tested for the virus in the U.S. and the CDC confirmed the diagnosis.
Read the full story at CNN.