Florida governor Rick Scott was in West Palm Beach to call for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help states prepare for the spread of the disease.
Medical staff at Baptist Health South Florida held an information session on Tuesday, answering questions from pregnant women and those hoping to conceive in the near future, reports the Miami Herald. Florida Health Department officials also confirmed the birth, adding there are now 227 confirmed cases of Zika virus disease in the state.
Florida reports 1st baby born with Zika-related birth defect pic.twitter.com/ckxiFOC3RQ
— Orlando Sentinel (@orlandosentinel) June 29, 2016
The mother is a citizen of Haiti who came to the U.S. to give birth, the health department said. To date, there have been no locally transmitted cases of the Zika virus disease in the U.S. although four other infants have been born with microcephaly to mothers who acquired the virus while traveling outside the country.
“It is heartbreaking to learn that a baby has been born with Zika-related microcephaly in our state and my thoughts and prayers are with the mother and child. Following this news, I have requested the CDC to immediately host a call with Florida health care professionals to discuss the neurological impacts of Zika and how this virus impacts new and expecting moms,” the Orlando Sentinel quotes Scott as saying.
Florida, with over 200 known cases of the Zika virus infection, has more cases than any other state. Of those cases, 40 are pregnant women. Governor Scott has declared a state of emergency, last week issuing an executive order that freed up to $26.2 million in state funds to combat Zika, which continues to spread, reports ABC News,