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Baby born in US to Honduran mom with Zika has birth defect

HACKENSACK, N.J. — A Honduran woman with the Zika virus gave birth in New Jersey to a baby girl with birth defects that appear to be caused by the mosquito-borne virus, one of her doctors said.

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. The mother was believed to have contracted the virus while living in Brazil in 2015, though it's unclear whether or not she was a USA citizen. Babies born with the deficiencies caused by Zika usually function as normal individuals until they start growing up.

"Zika is a serious risk for pregnant women who travel to areas where outbreaks are occurring and who have sex partners who have traveled to these areas", said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County. An ultrasound confirmed low weight and severe microcephaly. "This is a baby whose brain is incredibly underdeveloped, and when that occurs, basically it's gonna have deficiencies, perhaps motor deficiencies, blindness, maybe it is not going to be able to hear".

The baby also had calcification and dilated ventricles in the brain, according to Al-Khan. Several other viruses can cause the condition, as can alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

Asked what she would advise other women, the new mother said: "It's a reality we're living". The hospital has confirmed that she was infected with the Zika virus.

The types of mosquitoes that transmit Zika are not found in the Pacific Northwest, so local health officials do not expect Zika virus to spread here.

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It was unclear who sent the blood sample, but "we were very glad the CDC was able to confirm", he said. "This patient came in on Friday for the first time. and my team decided that it was appropriate now to deliver the baby".

The mother, who is believed to have contracted the virus while in Honduras, moved to New Jersey with family to seek better medical care and was devastated by the news.

The mother is "hanging in there" said Al-Kahn.

He said of the notifications, 1,387 fit the case definition of Zika and were classified as "suspected Zika fever".

Brazil has by far the most microcephaly cases linked to Zika, but health officials expect more in all the countries being hit by the virus.

"We now have in the United States, close to 600 travel related cases, and there are also a considerable number of women. close to 160 pregnant women who have gotten infected". The virus can also be spread sexually while symptoms are present and the virus remains in the person's system.

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