City health officials have announced that the first baby with a Zika-related birth defect has been born in New York City.
The health department said the baby was born at an undisclosed hospital with Zika-related microcephaly.
The birth defect causes the baby to have a smaller than normal head and can be associated with other brain problems as well, health officials said.
The health department said the baby tested positive for the Zika virus.
“Today, I am the bearer of sad news: We have confirmed New York City’s first baby born with microcephaly associated with the Zika virus,” Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio said in a statement released on Friday. “The City has been preparing for this scenario for many months now, and we stand ready to help families caring for an infant with microcephaly. This case is a sad reminder that Zika can have tragic consequences for pregnant women."
The child’s mother was infected with Zika while in an area that is dealing with ongoing Zika transmission, according to the health department.
“While not surprising, given the travel trends of our global city, this case is a strong reminder of the tragic consequences of the Zika virus,” said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett in the statement. “I remind all pregnant women in New York City, and those trying to get pregnant, that they should delay travel to places where there is active Zika transmission. As we see today, the consequences for the child can be devastating.”
Basset said the city and doctors are monitoring the baby’s health closely and are helping the family with the necessary care services.
Officials said the health department is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the case.