Dec 08, 2016 | Updated: 09:37 AM EST

Hawaii Reports First Case Associating Zika Virus And Birth Defects

Jan 18, 2016 02:57 AM EST

A new-born baby in Hawaii with an unusually small head got infected with Zika virus, according to health officials in the USA. This is the country's first reported case to associate the virus and birth defects.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Hawaii State Department of Health confirmed the latest finding. In a statement, they revealed that the mother has potentially been infected with Zika virus while staying in Brazil in May last year and the infection might be passed in the womb.

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To avoid worry, they affirmed that the mother and the baby are not infectious and do not carry any risk for transmission. Tom Skinner, CDC spokesperson, said that there is currently no indication that Zika virus is circulating in the state of Hawaii. He further pointed out that imported cases of the virus to the USA was already expected, and local transmission is not surprising anymore.

Last month, a woman from Harris County, Texas, who returned from a trip in Latin America was recently diagnosed and infected with Zika virus after she complained of fever and joint pain, which are common manifestations of the virus. But the Hawaii case is the first to link birth defects and Zika virus.

Zika is a mosquito-borne illness with common manifestations like fever, rash and joint pain. Most people fear because of its reported potential to cause birth defects such as microcephaly, Guillain-Barre Syndrome and possibly intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Without concrete basis yet, CDC posted on Friday a travel advisory highly recommending pregnant women especially those in the third trimester to postpone visiting affected areas including South America and the Caribbean while the virus transmission is ongoing.

Those who are travelling should consult their primary healthcare provider first and strictly follow their advice or recommendations to refrain from mosquito bites such as applying anti-mosquito repellant and covering up.

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