WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) — A woman from Honduras who apparently became infected with the Zika virus in her home country gave birth Tuesday in a New Jersey hospital to a baby girl with microcephaly, officials said.
Manny Alvarez, M.D., chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, said the 31-year-old mother knew she was infected with the virus before coming to visit relatives in New Jersey. Scans performed late last week showed the girl was underweight for her gestational age, so doctors delivered the baby by cesarean section, The New York Times reported. Alvarez said he believes the baby is the first baby born in the Northeast with Zika infection, which is typically transmitted by mosquitoes.
On Monday, health officials from the United Nations recommended that women planning to become pregnant should wait at least eight weeks before trying to conceive if they or their partner live in — or are returning from — areas where Zika virus infections are occurring.
Mosquito bites remain the most common source of infection of the Zika virus. But transmission of the virus through sex is more common than previously thought, World Health Organization officials said Monday. They had previously recommended a four-week abstinence before trying to conceive. And if the male partner has had symptoms of Zika infection, couples should wait six months before trying to have a baby, the WHO officials said.
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