Zika virus has been spreading rapidly through Americas since last May
Believed to be linked to microcephaly – causing abnormal brain growth
First case of child with Zika and birth defect has been found in Hawaii
CDC have issued a warning to pregnant women to avoid infected areas
Mosquito-borne disease found in 14 Latin countries and continues to spread
A baby born with a catastrophic birth defect linked to poor mental abilities has become the first Hawaii case of the Zika virus.
The mosquito-borne virus, which has been spreading rapidly through the Americas since it arrived on the continent last May, is strongly associated with microcephaly – a congenital condition which causes abnormal brain growth.
It is believed that the mother was infected with Zika during a trip to South America last year and she then returned to Hawaii to give birth in a hospital on Oahu.
The Hawaii State Department of Health said in a statement: ‘The mother likely had Zika infection when she was residing in Brazil in May 2015 and her newborn acquired the infection in the womb.
‘Neither the baby nor the mother are infectious, and there was never a risk of transmission in Hawaii