Girl With Zika Virus Is Born at a New Jersey Hospital


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A health worker fumigated a classroom in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in February as part of an effort to stop the spread of the Zika virus. The mother of the girl born with the Zika virus on Tuesday is from Honduras.

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Jorge Cabrera/Reuters

A baby girl delivered on Tuesday at a New Jersey hospital was born with the Zika virus, the mosquito-borne disease that can cause unusually small heads and brain damage in newborns, a doctor said.

The mother, 31, was believed to have contracted the virus in Honduras, her home country, said the doctor, Manny Alvarez, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Dr. Alvarez said the woman knew before coming to visit relatives in New Jersey that, based on blood test results, she had the virus. He said scans on Friday showed the girl was underweight for her gestational age and doctors did not want to risk further exposure to the virus, so they delivered the baby, the woman’s second child, by cesarean section on Tuesday.

Dr. Alvarez said the baby had severe microcephaly, an unusually small head, often accompanied by brain damage, which is characteristic of the virus. He added that to his knowledge, it was the first baby in the Northeast to be born with Zika.

A baby born in January in Hawaii had the first case of brain damage linked to the virus in the United States, health officials said. A woman in Connecticut who traveled to Central America and became pregnant while she was there has been found to have the virus, officials said.

“It tells you that Zika is real,” Dr. Alvarez said. “There is still a lot of work to be done insofar as controlling this virus.”

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