First Zika-related microcephaly case confirmed in Florida

WASHINGTON– The US state of Florida on Tuesday confirmed its first Zika-related case of microcephaly in a child born after the mother contracted the virus.

The mother in the case, a Haiti citizen, came to Florida to deliver her baby after contracting the Zika virus outside the United States, the Florida Department of Health said in a statement.

“The department is working with the family to connect the child to services through our Early Steps program,” the statement added.

Microcephaly is a birth defect related to the mosquito-borne Zika virus, in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and incomplete brain development.

Such babies often have a range of problems including developmental delay, intellectual disability, problems with movement and balance, hearing loss and vision problems, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a tweet Tuesday that it was “heartbreaking” to learn that a baby has been born with Zika-related microcephaly.

Scott said that he has requested US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to host a call with Florida health care professionals to discuss Zika’s impact on new and expecting mothers.

Before the Florida case, other US states, including Hawaii and New Jersey, have reported similar microcephaly cases involving new-born babies.

The CDC recommends that women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant postpone travel to Zika affected areas. PNA/Xinhua/