Baby born with brain defects caused by Zika virus died in Texas

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A baby born with brain defects caused by the mosquito-borne Zika virus has died in Texas, marking the southern state’s first Zika-related death, officials said on Tuesday, reports BSS.

The mother had become infected with Zika while traveling in Latin America, and gave birth to the baby in Harris County near Houston, according to the state health department.

“The baby passed away shortly after birth and is the first Zika-related death reported in Texas,” said a statement.

“Recent test results confirmed the baby’s condition and link to Zika. The mother and baby are classified as travel-related cases, and there is no additional associated risk in Texas.”

Zika often causes no symptoms but is particularly dangerous for pregnant women because it can lead to the birth defect microcephaly, in which infants are born with unusually small heads and deformed brains. Texas has reported 97 cases of Zika, including two infants with  microcephaly.

All these cases “are related to travel abroad to areas with active Zika transmission,” said the statement. Florida is so far the only US state to report that mosquitoes are actively transmitting the virus.

A total of 17 Zika cases in the Miami area are believed to be linked to mosquitoes carrying the virus in the Wynwood neighborhood.

Another 357 cases in Florida were brought in by people who were infected while traveling outside the United States. The US Centers for Disease Control says 15 infants have been born in the United States with Zika-related defects, and six pregnancy losses are associated with Zika infection.

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