This is absolutely heartbreaking! A baby delivered on May 31 has become the FIRST child in the continental U.S. to be born with the Zika virus-related brain condition, microcephaly. The shocking birth has now given rise to new fears about the spread of the awful disease!
Doctors have confirmed the birth of a baby girl, born in a New Jersey hospital, who has microcephaly — the birth defect that is marked by a partially formed brain. The condition is caused by the Zika virus and this is the first reported Zika-virus-linked birth defect in the continental United States. SO sad!
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The 31-year-old mother of the baby, whose name has not been disclosed, contracted the Zika virus while at home in Honduras. However, she was admitted to the emergency room at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey on May 27 while on vacation in the U.S. The doctors at Hackensack delivered her baby girl, who was sadly born with intestinal and visual issues.
During her child’s birth, she was under the care of a surgical team, the hospital’s chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive science, a neonatologist and pediatric infectious disease specialist, and a nursing personnel. But just how did this all start? With a rash! The baby’s mother developed a skin condition for two days while in Honduras, but she had no other symptoms until arriving in the U.S.
The patient’s aunt revealed to FoxNews.com that the mother is not doing well emotionally after the birth of her child. We cannot even imagine what she’s going through! After all, a microcephaly birth defect is when a baby’s head is smaller than expected compared with other babies of the same sex and age. Even worse, babies with the condition typically have smaller brains that might not have developed properly, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Microcephaly can also cause seizures, developmental delays, intellectual disability, hearing loss, vision problems, feeding issues, and problems with movement and balance. Researchers at the CDC have also concluded that after a careful review of evidence, the Zika virus not only is a cause of microcephaly, but also of OTHER severe fetal brain defects.
And while this is the first birth of a child with Zika-linked complications at Hackensack, it is not the first such case in the U.S. The CDC actually confirmed back in February that a woman in Hawaii delivered a baby who suffered from severe microcephaly as a result of Zika infection. Pretty scary right? But there ARE a few things you can do to lower your risk for Zika.
While there is no vaccine to prevent Zika virus, health officials recommend wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, as well as practicing mosquito control to prevent infection where Zika is being transmitted. So far, 591 cases of Zika have been diagnosed in the U.S., and all have been travel related. Infected patients typically do not present symptoms, but those who do may complain of fever, rash, joint pain or red eyes.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — does this baby’s birth raise new fears about the Zika virus for you?