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HACKENSACK, New Jersey (Reuters) – A baby suffering from a birth defect caused by the Zika virus was born on Tuesday in New Jersey to a woman visiting from Honduras who is infected with the virus after she was bitten by a mosquito early on in her pregnancy, media reported.
The baby girl is suffering from severe microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size that can lead to severe developmental problems, after she was delivered through cesarean section at Hackensack University Medical Centre in Hackensack, New Jersey, the news website NorthJersey.com reported.
United States health officials have concluded that Zika infections in pregnant women can cause microcephaly. The World Health Organization has said there is strong scientific consensus that Zika can also cause Guillain-Barre, a rare neurological syndrome that causes temporary paralysis in adults.
The connection between Zika and microcephaly first came to light last fall in Brazil, which has now confirmed more than 1,300 cases of microcephaly that it considers to be related to Zika infections in the mothers.
The unidentified premature newborn also suffers from intestinal and visual issues, Dr Manny Alvarez, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Hackensack, told NorthJersey.com.
“You could see the pain in her heart,” Dr Alvarez said of the mother, the website reported.
Hospital officials were not available for comment.