Officials at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey confirmed Tuesday the birth of a baby with Zika-related microcephaly, believed to be the first reported case in the New York metro area.
In a statement, the Hackensack center said the baby’s mother was visiting the United States from an undisclosed country. The baby was born Tuesday at the center’s Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital with the birth defect “as a result of the mother contracting the Zika virus internationally.”
“The mother, who is visiting the United States, is receiving exceptional care during this difficult time and we appreciate everyone respecting the mother’s privacy,” hospital officials said.
Microcephaly, where a baby’s head is smaller than expected, can result in a number of lifelong conditions, including an underdeveloped brain, seizures, developmental delays, hearing loss, vision problems and intellectual disabilities.
The Centers for Disease Control released a statement in April saying that studies had confirmed Zika was a cause of microcephaly. Not all women with Zika will give birth to babies with the condition, but having the virus heightens the risk, medical authorities have said.
The Zika virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is found in areas of Latin America — most notably Brazil — and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It also can be contracted through unprotected sex with a person who has the virus, medical authorities have said.
There have been no reports of mosquito-transmitted Zika in the United States, only travel-related cases. Locally, doctors have observed such cases in New York City and Long Island, though none of those were reported to have resulted in a baby with microcephaly.