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August 27, 2016: South Florida Doctors Treat Baby Girl Born with Zika Virus

A baby girl who tested positive for the Zika virus is being treated by doctors in South Florida.

“The baby’s mother contracted the Zika virus while traveling while pregnant off the coast of Venezuela.

“The baby has not been diagnosed with microcephaly, but doctors said the child is suffering from other Zika-related side effects.

“Photos taken inside the baby girl’s eyes at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine help give doctors a clearer vision of how to treat the baby.

“The baby’s mother contracted the virus at the end of her first trimester, while on a family Christmas vacation on the island of Margarita off the coast of Venezuela. The island is about 290 miles east of Caracas.

“’They thought it was the sun,’ the mother said in Spanish about the rashes she started getting followed by red eyes and stomach issues.

“She said she felt terrible to hear the news and then her ‘world collapsed.’

“The mom, who is from Venezuela, but now lives in Doral, said she saw three doctors and then waited for the results.

“She said the past months have been filled with anxiety, not knowing the fate of her baby, Micaela, who is now nearly two months old.

“So far, Micaela does have some calcifications in her brain left behind by the virus.

“’It just tells us that there was a bacteria or a virus in the brain and that virus has left us with some calcifications,’ Dr. Audina Berrocal said. ‘Babies with early intervention and the right support, sometimes they compensate for those changes that we find early.’

“Berrocal recently spent time in Brazil working with 25 other babies who have severe microcephaly.

“The scars in those babies’ retinas are larger and closer to the center than Micaela’s, evidence of what is likely long-term damage.

“’Finding changes in the eyes indicates that we must have something in the brain of that child,’ Berrocal said.

“Still, Berrocal said Micaela will likely have ‘almost normal visual development.’

“The mom is thankful that her daughter’s condition is not worse, and gave her the middle name Milagros (Miracle), because she believes her daughter is a miracle child.

“’Don’t go to places where there is Zika,’ the mom warned other mothers, saying sometimes she hasn’t been able to sleep, worrying about her young daughter’s future.

Source: WPLG News Miami

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