Just days after the Center for Disease Control recommended travel warnings to pregnant women headed to Latin America, the Hawaiian Department of Health has confirmed a Zika “virus infection in a baby recently born with microcephaly in a hospital on Oahu.”
The release stressed that this case wasn’t acquired in the United States: the mother was pregnant in Brazil in May 2015, when the virus was transmitted. Neither the infant or the mother are contagious.
“In this situation, an astute Hawaii physician recognized the possible role of Zika virus infection, immediately notified the Department of Health, and worked with us to confirm the suspected diagnosis,” said Dr. Park. “We rely on our exceptional medical community to be our eyes and ears in the field to control and prevent the spread of illness in Hawaii.”
This case helps to reinforce that there is some link between infants suffering from microcephaly and the Zika Virus. While there’s no chance of transmission from this case, the dramatic spread of the virus throughout Central Africa and Central America is worrisome.
Updated for clarification: this is the first instance of microcephaly caused by the Zika virus located in the United States: the virus has previously surfaced in Puerto Rico and Texas.
[Hawaii Department of Health (PDF) via New York Times]
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