Costa Rica confirms birth of baby with microcephaly, possible link to Zika Virus

A health worker fumigating to help control the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, in the La Chorotega neighbourhood in San Jose, Costa Rica on May 6, 2016.
A health worker fumigating to help control the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, in the La Chorotega neighbourhood in San Jose, Costa Rica on May 6, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN JOSE (Reuters) - A Salvadoran woman suspected of being infected with the Zika virus has given birth in Costa Rica to a baby girl that tested positive for microcephaly, a rare birth defect, the authorities said on Friday (May 20).

Costa Rican health officials said the woman entered the country from her native El Salvador in April.

If confirmed, the case would mark the sixth instance of microcephaly linked to a Zika infection in Central America and the first in Costa Rica.

 

According to the World Health Organization, there is a strong scientific consensus that Zika can cause microcephaly as well as Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that can result in paralysis, though conclusive proof may take months or years.

Microcephaly is defined by unusually small heads and can result in developmental problems.

Brazil has confirmed about 1,200 cases of microcephaly and considers most of them to be related to Zika infections.