Europe’s first Zika-caused microcephaly baby born in Spain

Therapist Rozely Fontoura holds Juan Pedro, who has microcephaly, in Recife, Brazil. © Paulo Whitaker
Europe’s first baby with the microcephaly birth defect caused by Zika has been born in Catalonia. The mother had been diagnosed with the virus in May after travelling to South America.

Physician Felix Castillo said the baby was born with a small head circumference typical of Zika and that it was “stable and has not required any specific resuscitation,” according to The Local.

The child was delivered via caesarean section at Vall D’Hebron hospital in Barcelona – the first known case in Europe to go to term.

The mother is reported to have contracted Zika while in Latin America.

Zika causes mild fever-like symptoms in those affected, and many people show no symptoms whatsoever. The virus can be passed from a pregnant mother to her fetus, causing a neurological birth defect known as microcephaly in the newborn.

The condition affects the development of the brain, resulting in a baby’s head being smaller than normal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Doctors in New Jersey delivered a child with Zika-related symptoms via caesarean section last month.

A total of 105 people in Spain have been infected with Zika, according to the latest statistics from May. All of those cases were contracted overseas. An estimated 1.5 million people have become infected with the virus in Brazil, adding more jitters for the Olympics, which starts in Rio de Janeiro in coming days.

Several high-profile athletes have withdrawn from the games over Zika concerns.

READ MORE: World no. 1 golfer Jason Day withdraws from Rio Olympics over Zika virus fears