San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Zika

Costa Rica reports first baby born with Zika-linked microcephaly

Costa Rica reported its first case this week of a baby born with microcephaly to a mother infected with the mosquito-borne virus Zika.

Officials from the Costa Rican Health Ministry announced Thursday that a baby was born in Ciudad Quesada, Alajuela on Aug. 5 with microcephaly, a birth defect that is characterized by a small head and incomplete brain development. The mother is suspected of contracting Zika during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Health officials identified the mother as a 25-year-old woman from Nicaragua, who officials said was infected with Zika in her native country.

Her newborn’s head measured just 25 centimeters in diameter, some 10 centimeters smaller than normal.

Confirmation of Costa Rica’s first case of Zika-related microcephaly comes just one day after Guatemalan health authorities announced that country’s first such case.

There are currently 521 cases of Zika in Costa Rica, according to the Health Department. The cases are clustered predominantly in the Pacific coast cantons of Garabito, Orotina, and Puntarenas. Of those cases, 320 women are infected with the virus, including 17 who are pregnant.

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