DOH confirms Florida's first baby born with Zika-related microcephaly

Posted at 10:18 AM, Jun 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-28 23:27:21-04

The Florida Department of Health confirmed Tuesday that a mother traveling to the U.S. delivered Florida's first newborn with a case of Zika-related microcephaly. 

The woman is a citizen of Haiti and came to Florida specifically to deliver her baby, according to a release from FDOH. 

Officials said the mother had a travel-related case of the Zika virus.

"It's a pretty devastating diagnosis" Dr. Stephanie Romero, a high-risk pregnancy specialist, explained.

The disease causes the brain to be underdeveloped. Babies born typically have small heads.

"It's not so much that the head is abnormally small, it's that there's not enough brain tissue to justify the enlarging head." She said. "Long term developmental delays, mental retardation, long term consequences for this baby."

Romero is optimistic that there haven't been any transmissions of the disease inside of the united states, but recommends that pregnant woman and their partners follow CDC guidelines, wear bug spray, cover up when going outside and try to stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible.

Governor Rick Scott announced more than $25-million in state funds being allocated to fighting Zika, including increased mosquito control measures.

Congress has failed to pass any legislation allocating funds because of political disagreements. The president has requested congress to approve $1.9-billion.

The CDC recommends women who are either pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant avoid traveling to Zika-affected areas, and seek testing for the virus if you do travel to those areas. Any pregnant women who have the Zika virus or have had it in the past should seriously consider additional ultrasounds, per the CDC. 

The family of the newborn was working with FDOH to get the child any necessary services.