Baby born with Zika virus is medical mystery

Baby born with Zika

MIAMI -- Eight-week-old Micaela was exposed to the Zika virus in the womb, but does not have microcephaly, the birth defect marked by an abnormally small head and brain. 

“She looks normal to me, but the doctors say she’s not,” said her mother, Maria Fernanda Ramirez Bolivar.

Ramirez Bolivar contracted the Zika virus​ in her native Venezuela when she was three months pregnant. Micaela has slight damage to one eye and stiffness on one side of her body.

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Baby Micaela was born with Zika, but showed no signs of the virus before she was born. CBS News

It took a team of doctors at the University of Miami​ several weeks to rule out other causes. 

Dr. Ivan Gonzalez is part of a her medical team, and said ultrasounds Ramirez Bolivar had in Venezuela and Miami all looked normal. 

Gonzalez said scans of Micaela’s brain show calcification, which is like a scar, and could lead to seizures down the road. Her prognosis is uncertain.  

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“The plan right now is to follow her for five to six years,” Gonzalez told CBS News.

There is also more evidence that the effects of Zika​ are not limited to babies​.

In Puerto Rico, where Zika is an epidemic​, the CDC reported an increase in cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome. That’s a neurological disorder that causes muscle weakness and numbness. 

This year, 34 patients with the syndrome also had evidence of Zika or a similar virus infection. One person has died.

The CDC has set up a registry to follow pregnant women in the U.S.​ who’ve been infected with Zika. There are over 584 so far, and 16 babies have been born in the U.S. with Zika-related birth defects​.