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A baby has been born in New Jersey with birth defects believed to be caused by the Zika virus, news outlets in the state reported Tuesday.

If confirmed, it would be the first such case in the continental United States.

The baby girl was born Tuesday to a woman who was vacationing in the country. Her nationality has not been confirmed, but reported that the woman had contracted Zika in Honduras and had received prenatal care there.


It appears that testing has not yet been done to confirm that the infant’s microcephaly was caused by a Zika infection.

Microcephaly — an abnormally small head and often an under-developed brain — can be caused by a number of exposures during pregnancy. Several other viruses can cause the condition, as can alcohol consumption during pregnancy.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday they will test samples to determine if evidence of Zika infection is present in this case.

“CDC is aware of media reports of a case of microcephaly in an infant born in a hospital in New Jersey to a woman who had previously tested positive for Zika virus infection,” the agency told STAT in an email.

“We are working with the New Jersey Department of Health and will perform confirmatory testing for Zika infection in the infant after samples are received. We are not able to provide further information at this time.”

Other babies have been born with Zika-linked microcephaly elsewhere in the United States and its territories, the CDC has previously confirmed.

In January, a woman in Hawaii gave birth to a baby with severe microcephaly. In that case, the woman had been living in Brazil during the early part of her pregnancy.

A few aspects about where you live can help determine that. ----- March 3rd ----- Alex Hogan/STAT

And in mid-May, Puerto Rico reported that a woman who had been infected with Zika had been found to be carrying a fetus with microcephaly.

According to the World Health Organization’s most recent Zika report, 10 countries have reported births of infants with microcephaly or other brain anomalies linked to maternal Zika infection during pregnancy.

The Zika virus is transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The virus can also be transmitted sexually.

This story has been updated with comments from the CDC.