Zika virus First baby born with microcephaly in Europe

Zika virus First baby born with microcephaly in Europe / Health News
Zika virus in Europe: baby born with skull malformation in Barcelona
In Europe, a baby with the typical malformations after infection with the Zika virus was born for the first time. According to the clinic, the child has an unusually small head circumference, his brain will "probably not work well". The mother had apparently been infected in Latin America with the dangerous virus.

First European baby with Zika virus malformations
Only a few weeks ago experts had warned against a Zika virus epidemic around the Mediterranean. Now, for the first time, a baby has been born in Spain suffering from malformations due to the Zika virus. The University Hospital Vall d'Hebron in Barcelona announced on Monday that although the baby has an unusually small head circumference, after the cesarean section birth it was viable without further medical help. It was not communicated whether the newborn is a boy or a girl. According to the information, the parents knew since May of the malformation, but they decided against abortion. The mother was said to have been infected on a trip abroad allegedly to Latin America.

In Spain, the first European baby has been born suffering from malformations due to the Zika virus. More millions of people could become infected. (Image: tacio philip / fotolia.com)

Child's brain "probably will not work well"
According to the website "kinderaerzte-im-netz.de" of the Professional Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ), the director of the neonatology department of the hospital, Félix Castillo, told the news agency efe that it was the first case of a newborn with the microcephaly caused by Zika virus in Europe. The baby and the mother are in good condition. However, according to Castillo, the child's brain will "probably not work well", so it will be "dependent on care". However, one can not predict the extent of neurological damage yet.

Even adults are at risk
According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in Stockholm, three pregnancies were registered within the EU countries by the end of last week in which the unborn child had malformations by Zika - one in Slovenia and two in Spain. The child in Slovenia had been aborted. According to the information, all pregnant women had become infected while traveling. The Zika virus, which can trigger neonatal skull malformations (microcephaly), is also a threat to adults. For example, French researchers in the journal New England Journal of Medicine reported that the pathogen might not only harm the brains of children.

More millions of people could become infected
The virus, which has spread rapidly in Latin America and the Caribbean since last year, could still cause much more illnesses. For example, a research team in the journal Nature Microbiology reported that 93.4 million people could become infected with the virus by the end of the current epidemic, including 1.65 million pregnant women. According to researchers from the US, UK and Sweden, one to 13 percent of fetuses from infected women in the most dangerous first weeks of pregnancy would develop a so-called microcephaly or other complications.

Concern for the Summer Olympics
Alex Perkins of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana said in a statement that this could affect tens of thousands of babies in Latin America and the Caribbean. The epidemic in Central and South America has also raised a great deal of concern over the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. According to media reports, several prominent athletes have already canceled their participation. The World Health Organization (WHO) made some health recommendations about games and the virus weeks ago. The experts advise pregnant women not to travel to affected regions, not even to Rio. Furthermore, expectant mothers should only have or refrain from protected sex after the return of their partners from epidemic areas. Safer sex is recommended for all travelers anyway. In addition, you should protect yourself in the affected areas from mosquito bites. (Ad)