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San Diego records first infant born with Zika-related birth defect

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Posted at 2:41 PM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 20:36:06-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego County health officials are warning residents to avoid traveling to areas with known Zika transmission, after a baby was born in the county with a severe birth defect related to the Zika virus.

San Diego Health and Human Services said the mother was infected with Zika while traveling in a foreign country where the virus is common. The infant was born with microcephaly.

Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby's head and brain are smaller than normal. Children with the condition generally develop developmental and neurological health issues as well.

Due to privacy concerns, further details about the case are not being released. The county did not release when the baby was born. The infant is the first born in San Diego County with microcephaly associated with the Zika virus.

“Pregnant women who must travel to one of these areas should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and speak with a health care provider upon return,” County public health officer Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., said.

As of March 24, the county said there have been 87 travel-associated cases of Zika infection among residents of San Diego County. No cases of local mosquito transmission have been reported.

There is currently no vaccine for Zika.

Health officials warn residents to use insect repellents, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, keep windows closed when possible, and empty areas of standing water that may attract mosquitoes.