The first Zika virus-affected baby, described as having “severe neurological congenital anomalies,” has been discovered in Canada.
Public health officials are not divulging any other information regarding the baby. It is unknown whether or not he or she is alive.
The Canadian public health agency announced that before this week, there had been no supposed cases of birth defects related to the virus in Canada, according to Ottawa Citizen.
Due to the Zika virus, several infants were born with microcephaly, characterized by the head’s abnormal smallness. They had other birth defects as well.
Since the Zika epidemic began in 2015 in Brazil, birth defects were found in other parts of South and Central America. The World Health Organization declared earlier this year that the mosquito-borne virus is a public health emergency of international concern.
CBC had earlier reported a newborn in Canada, whose mother contracted the infection abroad when she was pregnant. The publication said that the baby is normal so far, according to Canada’s chief public health officer.
“The baby had presence of the virus in the cerebrospinal fluid. That’s the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. But at this time the baby is normal,” the public health officer said.
As for the recently discovered Zika-related disorder in a baby, the World Health Organization said, “Canada is the latest country to report a case of congenital malformation associated with a travel-related case of Zika virus infection.”
It is confirmed that cases related to the virus are steadily rising in Canada. A week ago, the number of infected people in Canada was 187, and now, it has increased to 205 as of Thursday, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
This latest case is the second confirmed case of maternal-to-fetal transmission of the virus in Canada.