Baby with microcephaly from Zika virus born at New Jersey hospital
HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Officials at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey announced Tuesday that a mother with the Zika virus gave birth to a baby with microcephaly at the hospital, CBS Philadelphia reported.
The Zika virus has been found to cause microcephaly, a birth defect in which babies are born with abnormally small heads, and has been linked to a rare paralyzing condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome.It was confirmed that the baby was born at the Donna A. Sanzari Women's Hospital with microcephaly. Officials say the mother contracted the Zika virus internationally.
The hospital stated that the mother, who is visiting the United States, is receiving care at this time.
In a statement, the hospital urged the public to respect the privacy of the mother.
There have been 591 travel-associated Zika cases reported in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CBS New York reported.
Also on Tuesday, the World Health Organization announced updates to its interim guidelines to prevent sexual transmission of Zika, suggesting spreading the virus this way may be more common than previously thought.
The virus is mainly transmitted to humans by infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, and the primary form of prevention is to avoid getting bitten. But health officials are also urging women who have been in areas hit by the virus to take further precautions and wait longer to conceive.The new guidelines state that: "Couples or women planning a pregnancy, living or returning from areas where transmission of Zika virus is known to occur, are strongly recommended to wait at least 8 weeks before trying to conceive to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared."
If the male partner was confirmed to have Zika and was symptomatic, the couple should wait six months before trying to conceive.
WHO'S guidelines now match that of the CDC. Previously, WHO recommended a four-week minimum period before trying to conceive under such circumstances.
WHO drew upon 12 studies and reports published on sexual transmission of Zika, including four studies on male-to-female transmission, one study on male-to-male transmission, and seven case reports from WHO and government officials.
So far, all cases of sexual transmission have occurred when the male is symptomatic. It is not yet known if women or asymptomatic men can transmit the virus through sexual activity.