Doctors from the Hackensack University Medical Center guaranteed there is no risk of Zika dissemination, after delivering a baby girl with a birth defect due to Zika. The pregnant woman contracted the virus in Honduras and sought for help in the U.S. in the absence of medical care in her home country.

During a press conference, physicians from the Hackensack University Medical Center spoke about the process of the mother and the fetus when she got the virus. Dr. Manny Alvarez, one of the treating physicians, said that the baby’s grandmother sent a blood sample from the mother to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. The pregnant woman had advised her gynecologist about the possibility of being infected with Zika, after developing rash and fever in December.

Baby girl was born with microcephaly due to Zika Virus
Dr. Ihor Sawczuk (center) and Dr. Abdulla Al-Khan (right) watch Dr. Julia Piwoz while she confirms that a baby born to a mother with the Zika virus appears to be affected by the disease. Credit: Japan Times

Considering that the future mom did not find appropriate care, she decided to travel to the U.S. in an attempt of receiving better care. Once there, doctors and the CDC realized that, in fact, the woman was infected with the virus.

On Tuesday, doctors practiced a cesarean birth due to the complications the Zika virus could have in pregnant women. The premature baby girl was born with microcephaly and structural abnormalities in one of her eyes. Alvarez said the baby came out “crying” and that special cares will be provided on both until they could be released from the hospital. The mother, who looked sad when she saw for the very first time her baby girl, has been informed about the health conditions of the child.

Baby girl born with microcephaly due to Zika Virus
The image shows the baby girl born in New Jersey with microcephaly related to Zika virus. Credit: ABC News

Regarding the baby girl’s diagnosis, doctors said to media it is too early to venture in a diagnosis.

“It’s too early to prognosticate in that form about what this particular child’s life expectancy will be,” stated the physicians at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Doctors clarified that neither the mother or the baby acquired the virus in the U.S., and that they do not represent a risk for others.

The chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine and Surgery at the Hackensack University Medical Center, Dr. Abdulla Al-Khan, said that considering the multiple birth defects in the baby, it has been challenging for them to deliver a baby under such conditions.   

Microcephaly is a medical condition in which the head is smaller than expected and it can lead to mental disabilities and developmental delays. Microcephaly has been related to Zika Virus in recent studies.

Even if 18 cases of Zika virus have been confirmed in New Jersey, none of them have been contracted neither in the state nor in the country.

Source: North Jersey