The threat of the Zika virus affecting residents in the United States is getting more and more real each day.
The third baby in the U.S. with deformities related to the mosquito-borne virus currently affecting thousands in Latin America was recently born in a hospital in New Jersey. Earlier cases of deformed babies due to Zika virus have been reported in Hawaii and the southern part of the country.
The child, a girl, was born at the Hackensack University Medical Center with a severe case of microcephaly, or a condition where the patient has an abnormally small head.
This condition, which has been confirmed to be connected with the Zika virus, also causes babies to suffer severe mental disabilities although their brains are fully formed.
The baby's unidentified 31-year-old mother reportedly used to live in Honduras and contracted the virus there during the early stages of her pregnancy. She is currently in the United States to visit her family.
Dr. Manny Alvarez, chief of obstetrics and gynaecology at the hospital, told Fox News that the mother was aware that her child will have a deformity even before giving birth.
"You could see the pain in her heart," Alvarez said, recalling how the mother was devastated upon seeing the condition of her baby.
The mother's family already suspected that there was trouble in her pregnancy, prompting her to send a blood sample to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The blood test yielded positive results for Zika virus.
Four days before giving birth, the mother supposedly told the doctors in the New Jersey hospital, "Something is wrong with my baby's brain."
Alvarez said that tests conducted on the mother before giving birth to her child further confirmed that the baby indeed has deformities related to Zika virus.
"We saw on the ultrasound the baby was highly affected with multiple congenital abnormalities, including severe microcephaly," the doctor said, as quoted by CBN News.