Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Doctor: Baby born in U.S. to New Jersey mom with Zika likely infected

A New Jersey doctor said a woman from Honduras with the Zika virus gave birth to a baby on May 31 that appears to be affected by the disease. [Associated Press]

A New Jersey doctor said a woman from Honduras with the Zika virus gave birth to a baby on May 31 that appears to be affected by the disease. [Associated Press]

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.

The woman delivered the baby through a cesarean section Tuesday at Hackensack University Medical Center, said Dr. Abdulla Al-Kahn, the hospital's director of maternal-fetal medicine and surgery.

There have been more than 500 Zika cases in the U.S., all involving people who were infected in outbreak areas in South America, Central America or the Caribbean or people who had sex with infected travelers. Mosquitoes aren't yet spreading Zika in the continental U.S., but experts predict small outbreaks are possible as mosquito season heats up.

The 31-year-old mother was diagnosed with Zika in her native Honduras after lab results were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation of the virus, said Al-Kahn. She then came to New Jersey, where she has family, to seek further treatment, he said.

Al-Kahn said the mother had a normal ultrasound early in her pregnancy, and that another one last week showed birth defects, including microcephaly, in which the baby's head is smaller than expected because the brain hasn't developed properly.

The doctor said the baby looks "completely Zika affected," and while further testing is required to confirm the virus, he's "90 to 95 percent" sure it's Zika.

"It was very sad for us to see a baby born with such a condition," he said.

Al-Kahn said the prognosis for babies born with microcephaly, which also can signal underlying brain damage, is "generally very poor."

The mother is "hanging in there" said Al-Kahn. "But of course what human being isn't going to be devastated by this news?"

Earlier this year, the CDC reported that a baby born in a Hawaii hospital was the first in the United States with microcephaly linked to the Zika virus.

A total of 10 countries so far reported cases of microcephaly linked to Zika, which is spread primarily through mosquito bites and can also be transmitted through sex. With more than 1,400 reported cases, Brazil has the most, by far. The CDC has joined the World Health Organization in recommending that pregnant women avoid traveling to Zika-affected countries. If pregnant women get infected, there is no known treatment to prevent them from stopping transmission of the virus to their unborn babies.

While Al-Kahn described the New Jersey case as "absolutely devastating," he said he hopes it will serve as an "awakening call" for the country to take strong measures to prevent the disease.

"It's time for us to do something," he said.

Doctor: Baby born in U.S. to New Jersey mom with Zika likely infected 06/01/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 1, 2016 12:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Clearwater eyes hiring new downtown director within two months

    CLEARWATER — Now that the city director tasked with revitalizing downtown has resigned after his arrest on a battery charge during Oktoberfest, City Manager Bill Horne said the goal is to not leave the position vacant long.

    Clearwater Assistant City Manager  Micah Maxwell will oversee downtown until the city hires a replacement for Seth Taylor.
  2. Tampa Bay's Top 100 Workplaces deadline extended to Nov. 17

    Business

    Think you work at one of the best places in Tampa Bay? You've got a little more time to make a pitch.

    Penny Hoarder and Gregory, Sharer & Stuart were among those at an event in Tampa last May honoring winners of the Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces awards. Nominations are now open for this year.  
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  3. Little separates McElwain and Muschamp eras of futility at Florida

    College

     Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain watches the second quarter of the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville.
  4. Tampa-based Checkers testing delivery, aims for record expansion

    Retail

    TAMPA — Tampa-based Checkers Drive-In Restaurants continues to fly under the radar compared to dominant burger chains like McDonald's and Burger King.

    Checkers Franchisee Shaji Joseph, of Tampa, hoses down the front walkway of his store at 6401 Park Boulevard, Pinellas Park. The business has a new look including signage and exterior tile. One drive through has been eliminated for an outdoor dining area, right. Joseph owns nine Checkers and is planning to open his tenth in Tampa.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times ]
  5. Advice for presidents from military families they've tried to console

    War

    One family returned the letter because it was full of errors. Another was left cold when the letter they got screamed "robo-pen." Still another was puzzled to find 17 copies of their letter in the mailbox.

    Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Aaron Cowan, 37, was killed in a helicopter training accident in South Korea on Feb. 26, 2005. [Courtesy of Kari Cowan]