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Baby Born in NJ to Zika-Infected Mom Has Microcephaly


Luana Vitoria, who was born with microcephaly, cries during a physical therapy session at the Altino Ventura Foundation, a treatment center that provides free health care in Recife, Brazil, in this Feb. 4, 2016 photo. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Luana Vitoria, who was born with microcephaly, cries during a physical therapy session at the Altino Ventura Foundation, a treatment center that provides free health care in Recife, Brazil, in this Feb. 4, 2016 photo. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)


A baby girl born in New Jersey to a mother infected with the Zika virus has severe microcephaly, say health officials.

A 31-year-old woman visiting the U.S. from Honduras was infected during pregnancy, said a doctor from the Hackensack University Medical Center.

The mother was bitten by the Aedes mosquito and came to the United States for treatment after Zika symptoms were discovered.

Microcephaly is a birth defect that causes small head size and developmental problems.

The premature newborn in New Jersey also suffers from intestinal and visual issues, reported NorthJersey.com.

The baby girl was delivered though a Cesarean section, or surgically, and is “completely Zika-affected,” said a hospital spokesperson. Confirmation of the virus in the newborn is still pending tests, he said.

The Zika virus is mainly transmitted via the Aedes mosquito. The connection between Zika and microcephaly was first discovered last year in Brazil, where more than 1,300 cases have been confirmed.

All cases are considered related to Zika infections in the mothers. The outbreak is affecting parts of Latin American and the Caribbean.

I'm Kathleen Struck.

VOA News reported this story. Kathleen Struck adapted this for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

Are you worried about the Zika virus or other viruses where you live? Please tell us about it in the Comments, and post on our Facebook page.

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Words in This Story

microcephaly -- n. condition where the head size is smaller than normal

Aedes mosquito -- n. a mosquito that spreads diseases like dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika, yellow fever and other viruses

intestinal -- adj. relating to the intestines or the part of the body where food is digested

Cesarean section -- n. a procedure in which a baby is delivered through a cut in the mother's abdomen

surgically -- adv. procedures done by cutting or making an incision

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