Tuesday, June 27, 2017

First baby born with microcephaly due to Zika in Haiti

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Valéry Bennett

National Palace Correspondent

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Ouest, HT (sentinel.ht) – The Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) reported that it had identified Haiti’s first case of microcephaly, a condition affecting babies born of mothers infected with the Zika virus.

Dr. Gabriel Timothée, the director general of the ministry made the announcement on Tuesday. He said that the case was also confirmed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Timothée said the baby with microcephaly, was born in the town of Mirebalais earlier this summer.

Until now, Haiti has confirmed 14 cases of birth defects since March, up from previous reports of two cases, said Raymond Grand-Pierre, the Director of the Department of Health and Family in the Ministry of Health.

In the other 13 cases, the authorities have not associated microcephaly, although this number may indicate that the Zika virus is more widespread in Haiti than previously thought.

The CDC reports Haiti has registered more than 3,000 cases of Zika but the World Health Organization (WHO) said many more cases of the virus in Haiti are suspected but not confirmed. A woman who traveled to Haiti and returned to Miami, Florida in July was found to have been infected with the virus.

The Zika virus in pregnant women can cause microcephaly, a condition where the child is born with a small head. WHO said that there is strong scientific consensus that the Zika virus can also cause cases of Guillain-Barre disease, a rare neurological disorder that causes temporary paralysis.

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About The Author

Profile photo of Valéry Bennett

Valéry Bennett is a graduate student of Digital Publishing at ESCP, Paris. He is of Haitian descent and participates in the biennial mission trip with his church.