El Salvador confirms first case of microcephaly linked to Zika

An Aedes Aegypti mosquito is photographed in a laboratory of control of epidemiological vectors in San Salvador, in this Jan 27, 2016, file photo.
An Aedes Aegypti mosquito is photographed in a laboratory of control of epidemiological vectors in San Salvador, in this Jan 27, 2016, file photo. PHOTO: AFP

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - El Salvador confirmed on Tuesday (June 14) its first case of microcephaly in a baby linked to the Zika virus, the health ministry said.

"Year-to-date 48 cases of microcephaly have been reported, of which one has been determined to be due to Zika," Health Minister Violeta Menjivar told reporters.

US health officials have concluded that Zika infections in pregnant women can cause microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size that can lead to severe developmental problems in babies.

The World Health Organization has said there is strong scientific consensus that Zika can also cause Guillain-Barre, a rare neurological syndrome that causes temporary paralysis in adults.

The connection between Zika and microcephaly first came to light last fall in Brazil, which has now confirmed more than 1,400 cases of microcephaly that it considers to be related to Zika infections in the mothers.