Baby Girl Born With Zika at N.J. Hospital

The newborn's 31-year-old mother, who has been diagnosed with the virus, was visiting from Honduras.

Zika virus micrograph

Zika virus micrograph image via CDC

A mother diagnosed with the Zika virus gave birth Tuesday in a New Jersey hospital to a baby who appears to have contracted the disease, according to The New York Times.

It’s the first apparent case in the Northeast of a baby being born with Zika, said officials at the Hackensack University Medical Center, where the baby girl was delivered.

The 31-year-old mother, who was 35 weeks pregnant, is thought to have contacted the virus in her home country of Honduras, the doctor and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Manny Alvarez, told the Times.

The mother was visiting relatives in New Jersey when she went to the hospital Friday. The newborn suffers from microcephaly, a birth defect related to the disease that includes an unusually small head often accompanied by brain damage. The baby was delivered by Cesarean section.

A blood test by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta confirmed her daughter had contracted Zika, The Record reports. An ultrasound confirmed low weight and severe microcephaly.

The mother does not wish to be named.

The Zika virus, which is spread primarily by the Aedes mosquito, causes only a mild and brief illness in most adults. In the last year, infections in pregnant women have been strongly linked to fetal deaths and to potentially devastating birth defects.

A baby born in Hawaii in January was the first case of brain damage linked to the virus in the country, according to the CDC.

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