Hackensack University Medical Center delivers baby with birth defect due to Zika
A 31-year-old woman from Honduras, a nation ravaged by the Zika virus, gave birth to a baby girl suffering from the devastating effects of the virus on Tuesday at Hackensack University Medical Center, the first apparent case in the tri-state area, her physician said.
The mother, who was not identified, contracted the disease in Honduras after being bitten by a mosquito early in her pregnancy. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that she was infected with the Zika virus, said Dr. Manny Alvarez, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Hackensack.
The baby was delivered “uneventfully’’ at 3 p.m. by cesarean section after an ultrasound on Friday confirmed the birth defects — low birth weight and severe microcephaly, a condition in which the baby’s head is smaller than expected. It can lead to seizures, developmental delays, hearing loss and severe mental disabilities, Alvarez said. The baby also has intestinal and visual issues, Alvarez said.
The baby “came out crying,” and the mother looked sad, the doctor said. “You could see the pain in her heart,” Alvarez said of the mother.