A Texas baby born with Zika-related birth defects has died, officials said Tuesday, the first death related to the virus in the state.
The infant girl, who died shortly after being born, had a number of birth defects known to be triggered by Zika infection during pregnancy, including microcephaly, a condition in which the head is abnormally small and parts of the brain may not have developed.
A statement from the Harris County health department said the baby’s mother had traveled to Latin America during her pregnancy and was suspected of having been infected on her trip.
“The saddest outcome of Zika’s health effects often impact the most vulnerable. We are devastated to report our first case of Zika-associated death and our hearts go out to the family,” said Dr. Umair A. Shah, the health department’s executive director.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of July 28, 479 women in the United States were diagnosed with a Zika infection during pregnancy.
The CDC does not disclose how many of those pregnancies have come to term or ended. But it said last week that 15 infants had been born in the US with Zika-related birth defects and another six pregnancies affected by Zika had been lost — through miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion.
In Puerto Rico, 901 pregnant women have been diagnosed with Zika. To date there has been one pregnancy loss where the fetus was seen to have had Zika-related birth defects.