San Diego County health officials confirmed the first ever case of a baby born in the area with microcephaly. The mother traveled to an area plagued with the virus and passed on the infection to her then-unborn baby.
The county Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) said in a statement they did not release when the baby was born or the parents' names because of privacy. However, they disclosed the infant's condition last week and became part of the county health documents, CBS 8 reported. The mother contracted the disease from a foreign country.
Due to the first case of a baby born in the United States with Zika-related microcephaly, San Diego County health officials urged women to consider getting pregnant. They advised women to wait until the epidemic quiets or when they do not have plans traveling to places where Zika virus is evident. Dr. Wilma Wooten, the public health officer of San Diego County, said pregnant women should strictly follow the steps in order to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes when they travel to areas with the virus.
One of the worst side effects of Zika virus is microcephaly wherein a baby's prenatal brain development is hindered. This results to babies' brains becoming smaller than the normal size. According to a recent study, babies with the defect will most likely be disabled for the whole duration of their lives.
Most of the Zika cases in California came from travel-related transmission. No reported local mosquito transmitted cases of Zika took place in the state. Local transmission took place in Florida and Texas.
HHSA reiterated the guidelines to prevent the infection of Zika virus not only for pregnant women but for everyone travelling to areas with high number of Zika cases. One of the guidelines they shared pertained to the use of insect repellents that has DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and oil of lemon eucalyptus, NBC San Diego shared.
Another guideline they shared was the use of long-sleeved shirt and pants and the use of air conditioning to prevent mosquitoes entering a room when the windows are opened. For those staying in states with Zika activity, they advised people to empty sanding water from containers both inside and outside of their homes.
Below is another case of a baby with microcephaly born in the United States. This is in New Jersey last year.