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Health Department: First Baby Born With Zika-Related Birth Defects In NYC

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)-- The Health Department reported the first infant delivered with Zika-related microcephaly in New York City Friday.

Officials said the mother and baby are being monitored by physicians. The mother was infected while traveling to an area with ongoing Zika transmission. The baby was diagnosed with microcephaly, which is marked by a smaller than normal head and other brain defects.

The Health Department said it's working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the case.

"Today, I am the bearer of sad news: we have confirmed New York City's first baby born with microcephaly associated with the Zika virus," said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio said in a press release. "The City has been preparing for this scenario for many months now, and we stand ready to help families caring for an infant with microcephaly. This case is a sad reminder that Zika can have tragic consequences for pregnant women." 

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said the first confirmed case in the city is not surprising given the travel trends of New York City. The name of the mother and child have not been released, CBS2's Brian Conybeare reported.

"I remind all pregnant women in New York City, and those trying to get pregnant, that they should delay travel to places where there is active Zika transmission. As we see today, the consequences for the child can be devastating," she said.

More than 40 pregnant women in New York City have tested positive for Zika and some women are worried about possible exposure.

"It is concerning only because you don't want it to be something that spread and that's hard to really deal with," Queens resident Jennifer Roman told CBS2.

MORE ON ZIKA: Basics | FAQ | Info For Pregnant Women | Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment 10 Facts About The Zika

Zika is usually spread by mosquitoes and health officials have known for some time that men can spread it through sex. The new finding prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to update its advice in a report issued Friday.

A bite from an infected mosquito is, by far, the most common way for the Zika virus to be transmitted. Of the more than 300 cases of Zinka confirmed in New York City, almost all were acquired by a mosquito bite while traveling abroad, 36 were pregnant women, and 3 cases were sexually transmitted.

In May, a woman visiting the United States gave birth to a baby at Hackensack University Medical Center that had a Zika-related birth defect.


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