A U.S. woman diagnosed with the Zika virus has given birth to a baby with microcephaly at a New Jersey hospital on Tuesday.
The unnamed visitor to the U.S. is thought to have contracted the disease internationally, according to officials at Hackensack University Medical Center.
This marks the first case of a baby being born with microcephaly as a result of the Zika virus in the United States.
The hospital would not release any further details, saying only in a statement that the mother was receiving “exceptional care” and “we would appreciate everyone respecting the mother’s privacy.”
The Zika virus causes only a mild and brief illness, at worst, in most people. But in the last year, infections in pregnant women have been strongly linked to fetal deaths and to potentially devastating birth defects, mostly in Brazil.
U.S. health officials said in April there is no longer any doubt the Zika virus causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and other severe brain defects.
Newborns with microcephaly often act just like other newborns, perhaps a bit fussier, NBC News reported. But the disabilities will appear as the growing children miss important milestones. They’ll have learning deficiencies, vision problems and hearing problems, and many will also have physical disabilities.
There is no cure.
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