HACKENSACK - A woman from Honduras who gave birth to a baby with a Zika-related birth defect came to the United States specifically to give birth, according to a doctor at Hackensack University Medical Center.
The baby girl was delivered by caesarean section Tuesday after doctors determined that it was best for the mother and the child.
"We evaluated her Monday and Friday and we had a very high suspicion that the patient had a Zika-infected fetus,” says Dr. Abdulla Al-Khan.
The unidentified mother had contracted the Zika virus outside of the United States, and the baby was born with microcephaly, a condition that causes babies to be born with small heads and brain disorders. The condition was recently linked to the virus.
“The patients opted to come to the United States for better care for her and her unborn fetus,” says Dr. Al-Khan. “She has family members in the United States.”
Doctors at Hackensack University Medical Center say that the mother and the baby pose no risks to others. However, they warn that women who are pregnant or looking to get pregnant should take precautions against the Zika virus in general.
“The No. 1 thing we are telling our patients is to be aware of hotspots,” says reproductive specialist Dr. Thomas Molinario.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Central and South America are where many cases of Zika virus are found.
“We recommend that our patients avoid travel to these areas,” Dr. Molinario says.
The doctor also says that partners need to be cautious as well since Zika can be spread through sexual contact, in addition to mosquitoes.
The mother who gave birth Tuesday is expected to be released from the hospital soon, but the baby will have to stay longer.