US Mainlands Sees First Baby Born with Zika-Linked Microcephaly

baby crying
Science & Medicine

The second baby with Zika-lined microcephaly was born in the United States in New Jersey on June 1. She was delivered at Hackensack University Medical Center where the mother discovered via ultrasound that her new daughter had serious side effects and complications due to her infection with the Zika virus. Though this is the second born in the US, it’s the first in the contiguous United States.

Microcephaly is characterized by incomplete brain development and an unusually small head. Many children with this disorder also have intellectual disabilities.

Because of these defects, the doctors at Hackensack University Medical Center decided to deliver the child early via Cesarian section. The baby girl also reportedly has intestinal and vision issues, though it is unclear whether or not this is linked to the mother’s Zika infection. In February of this year, a baby with Zika-linked microcephaly was born in Hawaii.

The child’s mother, whose identity is currently being protected, is a 31-year-old woman who recently went to Honduras to visit relatives. She suspected that something wasn’t quite right with the baby a few weeks ago while she was still in Honduras and immediately sought medical attention.

There, doctors suspected that her baby was suffering from microcephaly, but it was not confirmed until she returned to the United States 30 days ago. Although it is not clear if she was diagnosed with Zika in Honduras, she has been diagnosed with the disease since her arrival back in the United States.

While she was in Honduras, she developed a rash, but reportedly had no other Zika related symptoms. Last month may have been the first time she found out she had the mosquito transmitted virus.

Because of the complications with the birth of the child, she is being held in the hospital and is being fed intravenously. She was born one month early due to the Zika related issues. Although the weight of the baby is not confirmed, children born with microcephaly often suffer from low birth weights, so it is possible she is being fed intravenously to boost her weight.

The mother is reportedly not doing well emotionally after the birth of her daughter, but doctors confirm that she is trying her best.


NBC News

Fox News

(Featured image does not depict a Microcephaly-stricken baby, or the baby born in New Jersey)