Two babies were found with microcephaly in California after their mothers were infected with Zika the virus, state health officials said on Thursday.
After traveling to countries with outbreaks of the illness, the mothers became infected with the virus. However, more information about the women or the babies were not released by the officials.
“This is a sobering reminder for Californians that Zika can cause serious harm to a developing fetus,” said the director of the California Department of Public Health, Dr. Karen Smith.
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Microcephaly acts as the hindrance to the growth of a fetus’s head in the womb. This results to the baby being born with a small skull along with damage in the brain. According to the Daily Mail, as of now, 13 babies have been born with the disorder in the United States since the Zika virus was found in 2015.
Neither the babies nor their mothers have yet been identified.
After the news broke out, health officials cautioned pregnant women to be extremely vigilant in mosquito-heavy areas. They have been asked to remain extra cautious.
In Brazil, an unusually high number of babies were born with microcephaly in 2015. This made health experts suspect the presence of the virus. In February, officials declared an international public health emergency for the mosquito-borne disease.
Since then, the outbreak of the virus had spread to dozens of countries. Thus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns pregnant women not to travel to areas with the presence of the virus, according to the LA Times.
Mosquitoes have been spreading the Zika virus in a region of Southern Miami. The CDC has provided a travel advisory to pregnant women warning them not to travel to the Miami neighborhood. However, the virus is not yet being disseminated by mosquitoes in California.