The first case of Zika-related microcephaly has been confirmed in Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Department of Health said Friday. This is the first case of microcephaly linked to local transmission of the Zika virus in the United States.
The fetus showed severe microcephaly and calcifications in the brain and the presence of the Zika virus, according to a news release from the health department.
Secretary of Health Dr. Ana Ríus Armendáriz said that such a case was not unexpected.
The family has requested privacy, and no other details about the case will be released, Armendáriz said.
The CDC said in a statement that it conducted the lab test to confirm the diagnosis.
“This case of Zika virus disease in a pregnancy saddens and concerns us as it highlights the potential for additional cases and associated adverse pregnancy outcomes,” CDC spokeswoman Erin Sykes said in a statement.
Armendáriz said this case serves as a reminder that all health care providers should screen pregnant women with symptoms for the virus.
In January, health officials confirmed that a baby with severe microcephaly was born in Hawaii to a woman who had become infected with the Zika virus while living in Brazil.
To date, the Puerto Rico Department of Health has reported 925 cases of the virus in the U.S. territory. There have been 27 people hospitalized with the illness and six cases of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which can also be caused by the virus. The CDC announced last month that a 70-year-old Puerto Rican man died from complications of the Zika virus in February.