What to Know
- Physicians have requested testing for more than 2,000 pregnant woman who have traveled to areas of active Zika transmission
- There have been more than 300 confirmed cases of Zika in New York City
- The species of mosquito most commonly associated with Zika's spread hasn't been found in the tri-state, but a similar species lives here.
A baby with Zika-related microcephaly has been born at a New York City hospital, marking the first such delivery in the five boroughs, according to health officials.
The baby's mother was infected while in an area known to have mosquitoes transmitting the virus, the health department said. She and the baby, who has been diagnosed with a smaller-than-normal head and other brain problems, are being monitored by physicians, authorities said.
The baby did test positive for Zika, and the health department said it is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the case.
According to the CDC, 12 babies have been born in the U.S. with Zika-related birth defects, including one in New Jersey. Some babies with no immediate signs of problems also have been born in the U.S. to Zika-infected mothers.
Herminia Palacia, deputy mayor for Health and Human Services, said the city has been preparing for a case for months, "and we stand ready to help families caring for an infant with microcephaly. This is a sad reminder that Zika can have tragic consequences for pregnant women."
Earlier this week, health officials said physicians have requested testing for more than 2,000 pregnant women who have traveled to areas where there is active Zika transmission. Forty-one of them have tested positive.
Pregnant women also continue to be tested for Zika if their sexual partners have traveled to an afflicted area. Virtually all of South and Central America and the Caribbean is considered a hotbed for transmission of the virus.
In addition to sexual contact, the virus is spread through specific species of mosquitoes.
The mosquito species most commonly associated with Zika's spread is not found in the tri-state, but a similar species that scientists think could transmit the disease inhabits the area.
New York City health officials have said they've been monitoring populations of the insect and applying pesticides to keep mosquito-borne diseases at bay.