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December 10, 2016: 4 More Babies Born With Zika-Related Birth Defects in New York City

“Four more babies have been born with congenital Zika virus syndrome in New York City since the Health Department announced the first such birth over the summer, officials said Wednesday.

“Their conditions weren’t immediately available.

“Eight other infants have tested positive for the Zika virus, but have not shown evidence of the associated birth defects, which may include smaller-than-normal size heads, brain and eye abnormalities and neurological impairment.

“All of the cases are travel-related, health officials said.

“Since January, more than 200 infants in the city have been born to woman infected with the Zika virus during their pregnancies. The Health Department is monitoring the children through their first year of life to assess the potential effects of their mothers’ infections.

“Children with birth abnormalities who were suspected of having a developmental delay related to their mothers’ infection are eligible for the city’s Early Intervention Program, which helps families identify appropriate therapeutic and education services for their children.

“’Today’s news is a reminder that Zika continues to be a threat to pregnant women and their babies. As we enter the holiday season, we urge all pregnant women in New York City, those who might become pregnant, and their male sexual partners not to visit places where there is active Zika virus transmission,” said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett.

“As of Dec. 2, 8,000 New Yorkers have been tested for Zika, health officials said. More than 960 of them have tested positive, including 325 pregnant women. All cases were associated with travel, officials said. Six were transmitted sexually. 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.”

Source: NBC 4 New York

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