Health & Medicine

2 California infants born with Zika-related birth defects

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito, known to be a carrier of the Zika virus.California Department of Public Health officials said Thursday that two babies have been born with Zika-related defects in California. The infants were born to infected mothers who spent time in countries where the virus is circulating.
A female Aedes aegypti mosquito, known to be a carrier of the Zika virus.California Department of Public Health officials said Thursday that two babies have been born with Zika-related defects in California. The infants were born to infected mothers who spent time in countries where the virus is circulating. AP

Two infants have been born in California with abnormally small head sizes to mothers who contracted the Zika virus while traveling, state health officials announced Thursday.

Officials declined to say where the mothers live, but none of the 114 travel-related Zika virus infections reported in California as of July 29 are San Luis Obispo County residents, California Department of Public Health officials said.

Just one case of travel-related Zika has been found on the Central Coast, in Monterey County. No cases have been found in Santa Barbara or Ventura counties.

The 114 cases have been found in 22 counties in California, with the largest numbers in Los Angeles (24) and San Diego (23) counties.

The mosquito kills nearly 750,000 people each year. Malaria is the cause for the majority of these deaths, but a Zika outbreak has the Americas scared of this insect. This is how the insect spreads disease to its victims.

There is no evidence that any cases in California have been transmitted by mosquitoes, officials said, although the two mosquito species that can carry the virus have been found in 12 counties in the state. San Luis Obispo is not among those 12 counties, which are: Alameda, Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Los Angelees, Madera, Orange, Riversise, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo and Tulare.

“Zika virus can also be transmitted to sexual partners by both males and females,” state Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith said in a news conference. “Both men and women of childbearing age should take precautions if they have recently traveled, or plan to travel, to a location where Zika is spreading.”

Information on the Zika virus, and weekly updates on cases, can be found on the state Department of Public Health website, www.cdph.ca.gov.

  Comments