The Honduran woman who gave birth to a baby girl with Zika virus–related microcephaly in Hackensack, New Jersey, on Tuesday, May 31, says she received bad information from her doctor in Central America when she went to him with a rash in December.
“I told my gynecologist that I had an allergic episode,” the 31-year-old told Fox News while still in the hospital. “He asked if I had a fever. I said I had a little fever — but it was very brief, only for about an hour.”
When the medical professional asked if she had any other symptoms, such as conjunctivitis, “I said no,” the woman told Fox News. “He said, ‘Don’t worry, everything will be fine. I don’t think you will be affected.’ Then I had an ultrasound, and everything looked fine.”
Doctors at Hackensack University Medical Center first examined the woman — whose name has not been released — on Friday, May 27. An ultrasound confirmed low birth weight and severe microcephaly, which means that the baby’s brain is not fully developed. On Tuesday, they performed a C-section.
According to the CDC, some women who were infected with the Zika virus while pregnant have given birth to babies with microcephaly, and researchers are studying the potential link between the virus and the birth defect.
It is unclear when she came to the United States, but according to Fox News, the woman was diagnosed with Zika while she was still in Honduras and came to New Jersey — where she has family — for treatment.
Manny Alvarez, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at the hospital, said the newborn also has intestinal and visual issues. “The prognosis for the child is highly guarded,” Dr. Alvarez explained on Fox News’ Your World With Neil Cavuto on Wednesday, June 1. “This is a baby whose brain is incredibly underdeveloped, and when that occurs, basically it’s gonna have deficiencies, perhaps motor deficiencies, blindness, maybe it is not going to be able to hear.”
Dr. Alvarez added that cognitive dysfunctions might include seizures and tremors. “This is a baby that’s gonna have a very challenging upbringing,” he said.
Zika is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito but can also be spread through sexual intercourse and blood transfusions.
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